Origin of Candy: The English word candy was adapted from French candi in the Old French phrase sucre candi. It was zucchero candi in Italian, azucar cande in Spanish, and assùcar candi in Portugese. These words derived from Arabic sukkar qandi 'candied sugar', meaning sugar that has been cooked and forms a ball when dropped into cold water.
Arabic got the word from Persian qand, which came from a Sanskrit root khand 'to break'. The ultimate origin was probably the Tamil word kantu 'ball of candied sugar', and that is related to a word meaning 'ball' or 'lump'. So there you are. Sugar candy came into English late in the fourteenth century and was shortened to simple candy sometime in the eighteenth century.
HFCS: Refined sugar (sucrose) is the predominately used sweetener, but its use has been replaced over time by HFCS. High fructose corn syrup (HFCS) is a liquid sweetener used in the manufacture of foods and beverages. In the late 1960s scientists developed an enzymatic process that transforms glucose from corn meal into a mixture of fructose and glucose.
HFCS is becoming the most preferred sweetener in food products as it is cheaper than white sugar. It is today present in numerous products including soft drinks, fruit drinks, sports drinks, baked goods, candies, jams, yogurts, condiments, canned and packaged foods, and other sweetened foods. Per capita availability was 97.3 pounds for refined sugar and zero for HFCS in 1966, and 64.6 and 62.6 pounds for refined sugar and HFCS, respectively, in 2001. (USDA)
Sweet Gene: For the past 25 years, scientists have known that a taste for sweet foods is a trait with a genetic element, but the actual genes have been elusive. About a decade ago, progress was made as scientists determined that a region of the mouse chromosome 4 called Sac (short for saccharin) was associated with a preference for sweets. Scientist have now discovered the gene for sweet tooth. It lies on Human Chromosome 1, is called sweet receptor gene, called T1R3. It is the difference in sequence within the sweettaste gene that decides if you have a 'sweet tooth' or not.
Honey: What is both a sweetener and an antiseptic, is the most mentioned food in the Bible, and is the only food manufactured for us by animals? Believe it or not, the answer is honey. Bee keeping for the collection of honey, a highly prized food was of great value in ancient civilisations. It was used as a sedative by early Romans and Greeks, by Egyptians to embalm their dead.
The French believed that newlyweds were to have drinks containing honey for 30 days following their wedding, and the word 'honeymoon' originated from this custom. In ancient times, honey was a source of sugar and was valued for its medicinal benefits. Composed of the sugars glucose and fructose it so contains numerous other types of proteins and minerals.
When a honey bee takes nectar from a flower, she stores it in a "honey sack” then returns to the hive, deposits the drop of nectar into the honeycomb, and evaporates the water out of the nectar by fanning her wings. Once the honey has aged, wax is used to seal it in the comb. A honeybee makes 154 trips for one teaspoon of honey. A colony produces 60 to 100 pounds of honey a year. To gather a pound of honey, a bee flies a distance equal to more than three times around the world. It takes two million flowers to make one pound of honey.
Sugar India: India has a diversity in the sugar crops that are grown in the country. It is not just sugarcane, that have been used as sweetners over the years. Apart from Sugar Cane, Honey, Jaggery (Cane), Jaggery (Coconut Palm, Jaggery (Fan Palm), and Jaggery (Sago Palm). Jaggery (Date Palm) is cultivated as a primary source of sugar throughout Eastern Asia, and India.
How did our ancestors manage?