Chocolate has been one of the world’s favorite confections for thousands of years. But it hasn’t always been the sweet treat we know and love today. Mental Floss host Justin Dodd takes us through the earliest known uses of cacao beans, and explains the process that turns it into chocolate.
THE BEST Candy
Looking for a fun and nostalgic birthday gift for a parent or grandparent? Woodstock Candy packs gift boxes with candies that were available during the year of their birth – assuming they were born in 1989 or earlier. Depending on the year, they might find Razzles, Wax Lips, Pop Rocks, Zots, or Turkish Taffy among other classic sweets.
Easter just isn’t Easter without some Peeps. Take a 360º video tour of the Just Born candy factory with Food Network to see how these colorful marshmallow treats are born, including a part of the assembly line called the “Sugar Shower.” Did she really use the word “peepsinality” or were we just hearing things?
Jumbo the rainbow! A new version of the popular sweet and tart candy is headed into stores. The big difference? Skittles Giants are three times the size of regular Skittles. At this point, they’re only available in the UK, but we imagine that the import market will eventually start shipping these stateside.
Japan loves their KitKat bars. They make them in all kinds of flavors, like green tea, melon/mascarpone, strawberry, and many more. Now taste some of these unusual variants here in the states with this pack of 21 mini bars, all imported from Japan. Amazon also has all kinds of other flavors if you’re feeling adventurous.
Popular Mechanics presents the best kind of factory video – one without narration or commentary. This clip will get your sweet tooth buzzing as workers at Hammond’s Candies plant make candy canes, marshmallows, and other goodies the old-fashioned way. The Denver-based company has been creating sweet treats since 1920.
Do you or someone you care about really, really love chocolate? Kekao offers monthly subscriptions and gift boxes, each loaded with some of the most delicious craft chocolate bars from around the globe. It’s a great alternative to the ordinary Valentine’s Day heart-shaped box. They also sell individual bars starting around $4.50.
It may not be Christmas quite yet, but it’s always a good time for candy. Sit back, relax and enjoy the fascinating process behind the creation of these colorful holiday treats, from machines that pull hot sugar, to ones that transform a 100 lb. block of candy into a thin and twisty rope.
We always thought that round candies were made using molds, but it turns out some of them are made by spin-carving spheres from a rod of sugar, like the ones shown in this video from candy machinery maker Loynds. We want to see a Bingo ball picker that works this way.
Bon Appétit pastry chef Claire Saffitz continues to expand her gourmet snack portfolio, this time taking on a tasty treat from Japan. Can she pull off the crispy and sweet combo moves required for delicious chocolate, matcha, cookies & cream, and strawberry flake Pocky?
This bit of geeky fun comes courtesy of builder JohnO3, who created a machine which works like a giant dot-matrix printer. Except in this case, it deposits colorful and tangy Skittles to create its prints instead of droplets of ink. He provided the full build details on Instructables, should you want to build your own candy printer.
Bon Appétit’s Claire Saffitz is back in the test kitchen to make yet another popular snack. With their layers of chocolate, caramel, and crunchy cookies, it turns out that the shape, flavor, and texture of Twix bars are incredibly challenging and frustrating to replicate.
A tour of the production line at Mr. Mallo’s Van Damme marshmallow factory in Belgium, where an army of robotic machines extrude and squirt out tubes of sugar, gelatin, glucose syrup, dextrose, and other ingredients come together to form bite-sized sweet treats.
Here in the US, cotton candy is typically just a big fluffy pillow of spun sugar, but in China, it’s often turned into amazing works of edible art by street vendors. Watch as this candy chef in Chongqing, China turns sugar into an intricate multi-color flower. Oh the humanity at 8:11!
These candies start out with the texture and tartness of Nerds, but then smack you upside the head with the spice of one of the most intense peppers out there, the Carolina Reaper. Imagine eating little bits of hot lava, and you’ll have a good idea of what to expect.
Nowhere are KitKat candy bars more popular than they are in Japan. So we can think of no better place to see how the treats are made, then at the Nestlé Japan Kasumigaura factory. After viewing the whole playlist, we wondered if we just watched a Wes Anderson movie.
This classic How It’s Made takes us inside the Dubble Bubble factory, where they make mass quantities of chewy, fruity gum meant for blowing bubbles. And if you ever wondered if it was okay to swallow your gum, the “made of plastics and rubbers” bit might dissuade you.
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