Do you love old-fashioned candy? Have you ever wondered, “What is horehound candy?” If so, then this article is just for you.
Horehound candy has been around for decades and continues to be a favorite among many. From its distinctive flavor to its unique color, horehound candy is one of the most memorable candies that have stuck around through the years.
In this article, we will explore the history behind horehound candy as well as some interesting information about this classic treat. So read on to learn more about what makes this confectionery so special!
What Is Horehound Candy?
Horehound candy is an old-fashioned sweet treat that is made from the extract of the horehound plant. This traditional candy has been around for centuries and has a distinctive flavor that many people associate with their childhood or nostalgic memories.
The sugar-coated, hard candies are often seen in vintage candy shops or specialty stores, offering a unique taste experience that differs from your typical modern sweets.
What Is Horehound Candy Made Of?
Horehound candy, a traditional sweet treat, is primarily made from the white horehound, a perennial herb that belongs to the mint family.
This unique candy utilizes the dried leaves of the horehound herb, which are then combined with staple confectionery ingredients like sugar and corn syrup.
What Is a White Horehound Herb?
White horehound, scientifically known as Marrubium vulgare, is a perennial herb often referred to as common horehound.
Recognizable by its distinct furry texture, this plant is a member of the mint family and native to Europe, northern Africa, and central Asia.
The white horehound plant has been widely used for medicinal purposes throughout history, thanks to its purported health benefits.
Its uses range from treating digestive issues to respiratory conditions, demonstrating its versatile therapeutic potential.
What Does Horehound Candy Taste Like?
Horehound candy taste is an intriguing blend of bitter and sweet, reflecting the nature of the bitter herb from which it originates.
The initial flavor that hits your palate is a potent bitter taste akin to a strong licorice or root beer. This is followed by a bittersweet aftertaste that lingers, adding depth to the flavor profile.
Despite its bitterness, many find the unique taste of horehound candy to be a flavorful adventure, reminiscent of an old-fashioned root beer with a twist.
What Is Horehound Candy Used For?
Horehound candies are not just a sweet treat but also have various uses due to their medicinal properties. Here are some uses of horehound candies:
- Sore Throat Relief: Horehound candies are often used to soothe sore throats. The herb has anti-inflammatory properties that reduce throat inflammation and pain.
- Cough Drops Substitute: They can be used as an alternative to traditional cough drops. The horehound herb is known for its expectorant properties, helping to loosen lung and throat congestion.
- Medicinal Herb Benefits: Horehound is a medicinal herb used in herbal remedies for centuries. It’s known for its potential benefits in treating respiratory, digestive, and skin disorders.
- Digestive Aid: Horehound candies stimulate digestive juices, aiding digestion and relieving indigestion and bloating.
- Asthma Symptoms: Some people use horehound candies due to their expectorant properties to alleviate asthma symptoms.
- Intestinal Parasites: Historically, horehound has been used to treat intestinal parasites. However, more research is needed in this area to confirm its effectiveness.
- No High Fructose Corn Syrup: Unlike many commercial cough drops, horehound candies often don’t contain high fructose corn syrup, making them a potentially healthier choice for those looking to avoid this ingredient.
Remember, while horehound candies can be beneficial, they do not replace professional medical advice or treatment. Always consult with a healthcare provider if you have serious or persistent symptoms.
Can You Make Horehound Candy?
Yes, you can make horehound candy at home! Many recipes use a combination of fresh or dried horehound leaves, sugar, and a form of syrup, like corn syrup or honey. Here is a basic outline of the process based on various recipes I found:
- Preparation: Start by boiling water and adding your horehound leaves (either fresh or dried leaves). Remove from heat and let it steep for about 30-60 minutes.
- Straining: Strain the mixture to remove the leaves, leaving you with a horehound-infused liquid.
- Sweetening: Add sugar and your choice of syrup to the horehound liquid. Some recipes also suggest adding other ingredients at this stage, like lemon juice or cream of tartar.
- Cooking: Bring the mixture to a boil until it reaches the hard candy stage. Be cautious during this step, as molten sugar can be extremely hot.
- Setting: Pour the hot candy mixture into a greased mold or pan to cool and harden.
- Finishing: Once cool, cut the candy into pieces if you used a pan. Some recipes suggest rolling the candy in superfine sugar for an extra sweet touch.
Remember, candy-making can be tricky and requires careful timing and temperature control. Always follow your chosen recipe closely, and happy candy-making!
Where to Buy Horehound Candy?
Horehound candy, known for its distinct bittersweet taste, can be found in a variety of places, both online and in physical stores.
Old-fashioned candy shops often carry this nostalgic treat, along with other retro sweets. In addition, specialty shops like Vermont Country Store and Boyd’s Retro Candy also offer these candies.
Online marketplaces like Amazon and Walmart are also reliable sources to purchase Horehound candy from the comfort of your home.
Creative Ways to Serve Horehound Candy
Horehound candy, with its distinctive herbal and slightly bitter flavor, is a classic treat that can be served in innovative ways to delight your guests. Here are some creative suggestions:
1. Horehound Candy Ice Cream Sundae
A simple but delightful twist on the traditional ice cream Sunday. Top vanilla or caramel ice cream with crushed horehound candies. Their unique flavor pairs well with the ice cream’s sweetness, creating a refreshing and satisfying dessert.
2. Horehound Candy Tea
Brew your favorite herbal tea pot and add a horehound candy or two as sweeteners. The candy will slowly dissolve, infusing the tea with its unique flavor. It’s a comforting beverage perfect for cold winter days.
3. Horehound Candy Garnish
4. Horehound Candy Infused Liquor
For an adult twist, try infusing a bottle of gin with horehound candies. Simply drop a handful of candies into the bottle, give it a shake, and let it sit for a few days. The result is a uniquely flavored spirit that’s great in cocktails.
5. Horehound Candy Popcorn
Popcorn and horehound candy make for an unusual but delicious pairing. Melt some horehound candies in a saucepan, then drizzle over freshly popped popcorn. The sweet and salty combination is sure to be a hit at your next movie night.
So, What Is Horehound Candy?
In conclusion, horehound candy is an old-fashioned treat with a unique and intriguing bittersweet taste. This herbal candy has various medicinal benefits and can be used to soothe sore throats, relieve asthma symptoms, and aid digestion.
Additionally, horehound candies are easy to make at home or purchase from online stores or specialty shops. Lastly, many creative ways exist to serve horehound candy for a unique and flavorful treat.
Whether you use it to sweeten tea, make icing, or even mix in cocktails, the possibilities are endless with this old-fashioned staple!