Rock candy

Rock candy
Traditional brown rock sugar.
White rock sugar

Rock candy (also called rock sugar) is a type of confectionery mineral composed of relatively large sugar crystals. This candy is formed by allowing a supersaturated solution of sugar and water to crystallize onto a surface suitable for crystal nucleation, such as a string or stick. Heating the water before adding the sugar allows more sugar to dissolve thus produces larger crystals. Crystals form after 6–7 days. Food coloring may be added to the mixture to produce colored candy.



Rock candy in various colours.

Candied sugar has its origins in India and Iran. It has several different names in India among which are Panakarkandu or Kalkandu (kal - rock, kandu - candy) (Tamil/Malayalam), "khadi sakhar" (Marathi), mishri (Hindi)[1] and kalakanda/patika bellam (Telugu); the Persian word for rock candy is "nabaat". Arabic writers in the first half of the 9th century described the production of candy sugar, where crystals were grown as a result of cooling supersaturated sugar solutions. In order to accelerate crystallization, confectioners later learned to immerse small twigs in the solution for the crystals to grow on. The sugar solution was colored with cochineal and indigo and scented with ambergris or flower essence.[2]

In cuisine

Rock candy is often dissolved in tea. It is an important part of the tea culture of East Frisia in Germany, but is also used in many nations, such as Hungary.[3] In China, it is used to sweeten Chrysanthemum tea as well as Cantonese dessert soups and the liquor baijiu. In fact, in some provinces of China rock sugar or bing tang is used in many dishes including meat, fish, chicken and vegetables as well as some fruits. It is also viewed traditionally as having medicinal properties and is prepared in food as yao shan or literally medicine food. In less modern times, rock sugar was affordable to only the rich.

Rock candy is widely used in India with aniseed as a mouth freshener, especially after meals, and is a common ingredient in Tamil cuisine, particularly in the Sri Lankan city of Jaffna.

In the Friesland province of the Netherlands, bits of rock candy are baked in the luxury white bread Fryske Sûkerbôle.


External links

  • Recipe for rock candy as an educational exercise in crystal and candy making.
  • (German) [1] Rock Candies with a logo in them (Traditional Rock Candy)

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Look at other dictionaries:

  • Rock candy — Rock Rock, n. [OF. roke, F. roche; cf. Armor. roc h, and AS. rocc.] 1. A large concreted mass of stony material; a large fixed stone or crag. See {Stone}. [1913 Webster] Come one, come all! this rock shall fly From its firm base as soon as I. Sir …   The Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • rock candy — rock ,candy noun uncount AMERICAN a type of hard candy that is made from sugar that is dried in a lump or on a string …   Usage of the words and phrases in modern English

  • Rock Candy — is a song by Montrose from their 1973 debut. Along with Bad Motor Scooter, it is probably the best known Montrose song. It is the second track from the album Montrose , and starts out with a punishing drum beat courtesy of drummer Denny Carmassi… …   Wikipedia

  • rock candy — n. large, hard, clear crystals of sugar formed on a string dipped in a solution of boiled sugar …   English World dictionary

  • rock candy — noun 1. hard bright colored stick candy (typically flavored with peppermint) • Syn: ↑rock • Hypernyms: ↑candy, ↑confect 2. sugar in large hard clear crystals on a string • Hypernyms: ↑candy, ↑ …   Useful english dictionary

  • rock candy — rock′ can′dy n. sugar in large, hard, cohering crystals • Etymology: 1715–25 …   From formal English to slang

  • rock candy — /ˈrɒk kændi/ (say rok kandee) noun a hard confection of crystallised sugar, often in a stick shape. {rock1 + candy} …   Australian English dictionary

  • rock candy — noun Date: circa 1706 1. boiled sugar crystallized in large masses on string 2. rock IV,5a …   New Collegiate Dictionary

  • rock candy — Go to rock …   Dictionary of American slang and colloquial expressions

  • rock candy — sugar in large, hard, cohering crystals. [1715 25] * * * …   Universalium