Jawbreaker

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Wildlife Control. The candy industry’s heritage to the dental profession. There probably is not another candy anywhere that has the exceptional hardness of a jawbreaker or possibly as high of a sugar content.

Enough said. On to discover the unmitigated joy (and sense of frustration) that includes the jawbreaker experience.

Ancient Egyptians used honey, sweet fruits, spices, and nuts to prepare their candies. Sugar wasn’t available in Egypt; the first written record about its accessibility was found around 500 CE, in India. Originally, sugar was considered to be a spice and until the 15th century, has been used only medicinally, doled out in minuscule doses, due to its extreme rarity. By the 16th century, as a result of wide-ranging sugar farming and improved refining methods, sugar was not thought of as such a rare commodity. At this point, primitive candies were being made in Europe, but by the end of the 18th century, candy-making machines was producing more intricate candies in much larger amounts.

When glucose is cooked at a high temperature, it becomes totally crystalized and becomes hard candy. The jawbreaker, very definitely a hard candies, was very much alike to a number of candies popular in mid-19th century America. Hard candy was usually sold by the single piece; the storekeeper eliminated, from a glass case or jar, the desired number of pieces. By the middle of the 18th century, there were almost 400 candy factories making penny candies in america.

Ferrari Pan currently specializes in the creation of its first Jaw Breakers, along with Boston Baked Beans and Red Hots. Although there are lots of manufacturers of jawbreakers today in the 21st century, such as NestlĂ©’s Willy Wonka Candy Company and the Scones Chocolate Organization, Ferrari Pan is still the most prolific manufacturer of pan candies across the world.

Jawbreakers, also referred to as gob stoppers (in the British slang: gob for the mouth and stopper as into block an opening), belong to a category of hard candy where each candy, usually around, ranges in size from a tiny 1/4″ ball into a enormous 3-3/8″. The surface, as well as the inside, of a jawbreaker is extremely hard and not meant for anybody with a sensitive mouth.

Let us get down to the nitty-gritty of the hot pan process of candy making. A jawbreaker consists of sugar, sugar, and more sugar. It takes 14 to 19 days to create a single jawbreaker, from a single grain of sugar into the finished product. A batch of jawbreakers tumbles always in enormous spherical copper kettles over a gas flame. The kettles or pans all have a wide opening or mouth.

Pouring the sugar A panner (the worker who uses the pans or kettles to make candy) pours granulated sugar into a pan while a gas fire preheats the pan. Each grain of sugar will turn into a jawbreaker since the crystallization process proceeds; other grains crystallize around it in a round pattern. The panner ladles hot liquid sugar into the pan along its borders. In a seemingly endless endeavor, the panner continues to add additional liquid sugar into the pans at intervals over a time period of 14 to 19 days, with the pot rotating . It is possible for liquid sugar to be added to the pan over 100 times in that 14 to 19 days. Either the panner or some other worker visually examines, at times, the jawbreakers to ensure there are no abnormalities in the shape of the candy.

Adding other ingredients Just the outer layers of most kinds of jawbreakers have coloring. Only when the jawbreakers have attained almost their completed, target size does the panner add the predetermined color and flavorings into the edge of the pan. As the kettle continues to rotate, all the jawbreakers get evenly”dressed” with color and flavor.

Polishing When the jawbreakers have reached their optimal size, after about two weeks, they transfer from the hot pan to a polishing pan. Hot pans and polishing pans seem very much alike. At this time, the jawbreakers are set to rotate in their polishing pan. Another panner adds food-grade wax to the pan so that each candy becomes polished as the pan . Once polished, the jawbreakers are completed and ready to be packaged.

Measuring The final jawbreakers are loaded onto a tilted ramp where the candy colours can be equally mixed. Small batches of the jawbreakers roll down the ramp and fall to a central chute. Each tray holds only a predetermined weight of the jawbreakers (i.e. 80 ounce or 5 pounds.) When that weight is reached, the tray swings out of the way so that the next tray may load. When the top trays reach their weight load, then the bottom trays drop their jawbreakers to the bagging machine.

Bagging A huge machine holding a wide spool of thin plastic on a revolving drum is used to mechanically bag the jawbreakers. The filled bags are currently in the final phase of production. All that’s left to do is to place these completed bags into packing boxes and off to market they go.

Word of warning: Jawbreakers are meant to be sucked upon, not bitten into, unless you fancy the chipped tooth appearance.

Jawbreaker Trivia

A jawbreaker can be as large as a golf ball or as small as a candy sprinkle.

When a jawbreaker is broken open, you will see dozens upon dozens of sugar layers which look very much like the concentric rings of an old tree seen in cross-section.

A jawbreaker isn’t intended for the anxious person who is always in a hurry. It may take hours to adequately consume a jawbreaker. Recall: suck, lick, whatever but don’t try to bite through the layers. Jawbreakers are made of crystallized sugar that, occasionally, can be considered the same tooth-shattering hardness as concrete. Do be careful, please.

There have been at least two reported events in which a jawbreaker has burst spontaneously, leaving its customer with serious burns requiring hospitalization. One explosion involved a 9-year-old woman from Florida. She’d abandoned her jawbreaker sitting in direct sun and when she took her first lick, the jawbreaker exploded in her face, leaving her with severe burns on several regions of her body. The other explosion took place on the site of the Discovery Channel’s television program MythBusters when a microwave oven has been used to exemplify it can cause unique layers compressed inside a jawbreaker to heat at different rates and thus exploding the jawbreaker, causing a massive spray of exceedingly hot candy to splatter in a wide area. MythBusters host Adam Savage and another crew member were treated for mild burns.

Happy licking!

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