Candies That Come From Plants

While you are enjoying your Valentine’s Day treats or Halloween sweets, do you ever wonder where that candy you are eating comes from? It might surprise you to find out that a lot of the candy you eat originally came from plants. Amazing huh? In this top ten, we take a look at ten popular candy ingredients and the plants they come from.

Marshmallow (Althaea officinalis)

marshmallow

Did you know…the sap from the marshmallow plant was originally used to treat sore throats by the ancient Egyptians.
Native to: Europe, western Asia and North Africa
Type of Plant: Herb / flowering plant
Comes from: The sap
Used In: Marshmallows (historically)

https://pubs.acs.org/cen/whatstuff/84/8416marshmallows.html
http://eol.org/pages/584767/details

Licorice (Glycyrrhiza glabra)

black_licorice

Did you know…the licorice plant has a compound (glycyrrhizin) which is about 50X sweeter than sugar.
Native to: Eurasia, northern Africa and western Asia
Type of plant: Legume
Comes from: The root
Used In: Good & Plenty, Licorice Allsorts and other black licorice candies

http://eol.org/pages/703239/details
http://www.kew.org/plants-fungi/species-browser/Glycyrrhiza-glabra.htm

Cacao Tree (Theobroma cacao)

chocolate

Did you know…studies have shown that chocolate was eaten by the Mokaya people as early as 1900BC (almost 4,000 years ago).
Native to: Mexico and Northern South America
Type of plant: Evergreen Tree
Comes from: The seeds
Used In: Chocolates

http://eol.org/pages/484592/details
http://antiquity.ac.uk/projgall/powis/index.html

Sugarcane (Saccharum officinarum)

sugar_candy

Did you know…the stalks of sugar cane can grow to be 20 feet high. That’s taller than some giraffes!
Native to: South and Southeast Asia
Type of plant: Grass
Comes from: The stem
Used In: Sugar… so pretty much any candy

http://www.kew.org/plants-fungi/species-browser/Saccharum-officinarum.htm
http://ntbg.org/plants/plant_details.php?plantid=10117

Flat-leaved Vanilla (Vanilla planifolia)

vanilla

Did you know…the first documented use of vanilla was by the Aztecs who used it to flavour a drink made of cocoa beans.
Native to: Mexico and Central America
Type of plant: Orchid
Comes from: The pod-shaped fruit (called the bean)
Used In: Vanilla flavoured candy and some white chocolates

http://ntbg.org/plants/plant_details.php?plantid=11345
http://www.kew.org/plants-fungi/Vanilla-planifolia.htm

Ginger (Zingiber officinale)

crystallized_ginger

Did you know…ginger is also used to soothe an upset stomach.
Native to: South Asia
Type of Plant: Herb/ flowering plant
Comes from: The rhizome or rootstock
Used In: Crystallized ginger and ginger chews

http://www.kew.org/plants-fungi/species-browser/Zingiber-officinale.htm
http://unitproj.library.ucla.edu/biomed/spice/index.cfm?displayID=15

Manilkara chicle

gumballs

Did you know…chiclets gum gets its name from chicle.
Native to: Mexico, Central America and Northern South America
Type of plant: Evergreen Tree
Comes from: The tree’s natural gum
Used In: Gum

http://eol.org/pages/1154616/details

Peppermint (Mentha × piperita)

peppermint

Did you know…peppermint is a hybrid mint, a cross between water mint and spearmint.
Native to: Europe
Type of plant: Herb
Comes from: The leaves
Used In: Gum, candy canes, mints and other candies with minty flavour

http://eol.org/pages/579698/details

True Cinnamon (Cinnamomum verum)

cinnamon_hearts

Did you know…cinnamon is one of the oldest spices. It is said to be one of the first crops to start world trade (trading among countries).
Native to: Sri Lanka
Type of plant: Evergreen Tree
Comes from: The bark
Used In: Cinnamon hearts, gum and other cinnamon candies

http://www.kew.org/plants/festivefoods/cinnamon.html

Sugar Maple (Acer saccharum)

maple_candies

Did you know…it takes 40 litres of sap to make 1 litre of pure maple syrup.
Native to: North America
Type of Plant: Deciduous Tree
Comes From: The sap
Used In: Maple syrup candies or taffy

http://eol.org/pages/582247/details

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33 Comments

  1. New Bee
    IlliE says:

    Wow I learned a lot

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  2. Toadstool
    jammery27 says:

    wow thats really interesting!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
    ;o

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  3. New Bee
    ONEDIRECTIONLOVER06 says:

    IT’S JUST MAKING ME WANT SOME

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