|Main ingredients||Sugar, flavoring (lemon), food coloring|
|Cookbook: Lemon drop Media: Lemon drop|
A lemon drop is a sugar coated, lemon-flavored candy that is typically colored yellow and often shaped like a miniature lemon. They can be sweet or have a more sour flavor. Lemon drops are made by boiling sugar, water and cream of tartar until it reaches the hard crack stage. As the mixture cools, lemon flavor is added. The candy is then rolled into long ropes, cut into small pieces and rolled in sugar. Lemon drops originated in England, where confectioners learned that adding acid such as lemon juice to the boiled sugar mixture prevented sugar from crystallizing.
The first version of the lemon drop was called The Salem Gibralter and was created in 1806. Modern lemon drops, like most hard candies we know today, descend from ancient medicinal losenges. Mary Poppins' famous line "A spoonful of sugar makes the medicine go down" was not overstated. 18th century advances in sugar technology made possible hard sugar concoctions. The tang of Mediterranean lemons, embraced from ancient times forward, made perfect sense in this particular context.
- Chu, Anita. Field Guide to Candy: How to Identify and Make Virtually Every Candy Imaginable. Philadelphia: Quirk, 2009.
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