Until the mid 1800’s, this candy was used as a medicine, having been recognized to bring about therapeutic results. Of course, candy and other sweets of all varieties, due to their popularity as gifts and special treats, is still a form of “therapy” for many of us. Rock Crystal Candy has its own history, though. Many people remember details of this science lesson from their school days.
The science lesson revolving around this popular candy includes the molecular composition of sugar (12 atoms of carbon, 22 atoms of hydrogen, and 11 atoms of oxygen) and the affect heat has on it. It demonstrates the science of saturated and super-saturated solutions, the creation of seed crystals, and the rate of crystalline growth. When the sugar is mixed with water, the sugar dissolves, and is defined as having gone into solution. When as much sugar as possible has been dissolved, the solution is considered “saturated”. The addition of high heat levels allows space for more sugar to be dissolved, which leads to the solution being “super-saturated”. This is an unstable state. Crystallization occurs when the sugar molecules begin to crystallize back into a solid.
The only supplies needed to conduct this science lesson are a saucepan, source of heat, spoon, and a measuring cup… some of the same equipment needed for making fudge and other candies. Although, in these other types of candy, crystallization is the one thing to protect against; a batch of fudge that has crystallized is considered a failure. With Rock Crystal Candy, crystallization is the goal. The science experiment is complete, and the candy is edible after seven days. Not surprisingly, this traditional science lesson is still popular today, and is practiced by educators in both public and private school settings.
Rock Crystal Candy is made by the process of crystallization. Commercially, the candy is made by pouring a hot purely saturated solution of cane sugar and water into large tanks. During cooling, larger crystals are produced. These are “harvested”, packaged, and then delivered to market. Rock Crystal Candy comes in the form of strings, sticks, and loose crystals contained in a straw, called swizzle sticks. There are several flavors on sticks that can be used to stir and flavor a cup of coffee. These are very popular and unique.
Rock Crystal Candy is just one of the retro candies available at Popsies Gourmet Popcorn and Sweets. Visit http://www.popsiespugetsoundpopcorn.com or come on in to this unique Oak Harbor, Washington location.