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)


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)

Licorice (Glycyrrhiza glabra)


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

Cacao Tree (Theobroma cacao)


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

Sugarcane (Saccharum officinarum)


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

Flat-leaved Vanilla (Vanilla planifolia)


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

Ginger (Zingiber officinale)


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

Manilkara chicle


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

Peppermint (Mentha × piperita)


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

True Cinnamon (Cinnamomum verum)


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

Sugar Maple (Acer saccharum)


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

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