Barley sugar (or barley sugar candy) is a traditional variety of boiled sweet (hard candy), often yellow or orange in colour with sometimes an extract of barley added as flavouring. It is similar to hard caramel candy in its texture and taste. Barley sugar was often made into small spiral sticks, and the name is therefore sometimes used for the Solomonic column in architecture, and twisted legs and spindles in furniture, stair bannisters and other uses. The OED describes it as "a confection, usually in twisted sticks, made from sugar, formerly by boiling in a decoction of barley"
Barley sugar was made in the 17th century by boiling down refined cane sugar with barley water, cream of tartar, and water. A recipe was created in 1638 by the Benedictine monks of Moret-sur-Loing, France, and there is a Barley Sugar Museum (Le Musée du Sucre d'Orge) in the town.
During the 18th century metal molds were used to create the shapes known as barley sugar clear toy candy, a popular Victorian Christmas treat. Many modern confectioners make barley candy without barley allowing the name to become a euphemistic term. The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) discourages calling a product "barley sugar" or "barley candy" unless the product actually includes barley.
- "barley". Oxford English Dictionary (3rd ed.). Oxford University Press. September 2005. (Subscription or UK public library membership required.), def. 2
- Barley Candy: Recipe courtesy Ye Olde Pepper Companie, LTD. Boston, MA
- Timberlake Candies
- Sec. 515.500 Barley Sugar - Definition, and Barley Sugar Candy
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