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|Main ingredients||Egg whites, corn syrup, and sugar or brown sugar|
Divinity is a nougat-like confection made mainly with egg white, corn syrup, and sugar. Optional ingredients like flavorings, chopped dried fruit and chopped nuts are frequently added. Replacing the sugar with brown sugar results in another related confection called "sea foam".
Believed to have originated in the early 1900s, this treat can be traced to its current form in a recipe dating to 1915. Another earlier version, which included the use of milk, can be traced about eight years earlier, or 1907.
One of the proposed theories for its origins is that in the early 20th century, corn syrup (a major ingredient) was just coming into its own as a popular sugar substitute. New recipes for its use were being frequently created by the major manufacturers, one of which may have been divinity.
Divinity has at times been referred to as a "Southern candy", most likely because of the frequent use of pecans in the recipe. Apparently it made its way North quickly, and today is considered a standard recipe in most cookbooks.
Weather and altitude
To make a successful batch of divinity, the weather must be sufficiently dry for the candy to dry. It is said that, "The weather determines whether you'll like it." Like other fudge-like confections, it works best (it "fudges") on a sunny day. Because of its use of high amounts of sugar, divinity acts like a sponge. If the day is very humid, over 50%, the candy will absorb moisture from the air, remaining gooey. It is a soft, white candy which should be dry to the touch, melting into creaminess in the mouth.
Divinity like many other confections and baked goods needs to have its recipe altered for high altitude areas (over 3500 feet normally). One method is to reduce the temperature of the sugar mixture by about ten degrees Fahrenheit.
- "Divinity at The Food Timeline". The Food Timeline. Retrieved 2009-06-13.