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Candy's dandy, and here's how to choose
Virtually everyone has a sweet tooth and a type of candy favored for a pick-me-up. For many people chocolate is the answer, but others like hard candies and sweets that are chewy, have long-lasting flavor or have breath-freshening capabilities. If you need to buy a few pieces or buy candy in bulk for Halloween or Easter, check out our Every Day Low Prices on candy. Here's what to look for among the many varieties you can select.
Chocolate is available in many different forms. The three basic chocolate types are milk chocolate, dark chocolate and white chocolate. As the name indicates, milk chocolate is mixed with a certain amount milk and sugar. Dark chocolate is made with lesser amounts of milk. Dark chocolate is listed by the percentage of cocoa that makes up the confection, which commonly ranges between 70 percent and 99 percent. White chocolate is made the same way, but without the cocoa solids that go into milk chocolate and dark chocolate, which is why it's white in color.
Plain chocolate bars are commonly available, but chocolate mixed with nuts and fruit's popular as well. There are also chocolate nuggets and teardrop-shaped individually wrapped candies, and some of these have nuts inside. Peanuts are the most common nuts mixed with chocolate, but almonds and cashews are available. Raisins are the most common fruit, but you can commonly find seasonal varieties with cherries or coconut.
Don't forget chocolate-covered wafers and cookies. Nougat, caramel, peanut butter and mint are also commonly combined with chocolate. candy bars range in size from about 1/2 ounce to 1 1/2 ounces, but there are some that run as large as a 1/2 pound. Bars are available individually and in packs of four to six. There are also miniature bars sold in bags. Some sugar-free chocolate candies are available.
Many chewy candies, including gummy candies, are fruit flavored and commonly made with fruit juice. Popular forms of chewy candies include jelly beans, caramels, licorice and taffy. Many chewy candies are sweet, but tart and sour forms are available. Most chewy candies are available in bags that feature multiple flavors. Black licorice is sold in multiples of one flavor only. Gummy candies are available in animal form, with bears and worms being the most common options. Also, there are some sugar-free chewy candies suitable for people with diabetes or those on low-carb diets.
Another candy type made with fruit juices is hard candy, which includes lollipops. The notable feature about hard candy is you can pop them into your mouth and suck on them for a long time. Caramel is another typical hard candy. Hard candies come in bags that range from around a 1/2 pound to as many as 5 pounds. Lollipops are individually wrapped, as are some hard candies. Some of the fruit-flavored hard candies are shaped like fruit.
Gum and mints
Two other types of sweets that are closely part of the candy family are mints and gum. Mints are similar to hard candies and retain many of the same properties except they're made with mint flavors rather than fruit or caramel flavors. These mints are typically flavored with peppermint, spearmint and wintergreen. These candies come in a variety of sizes and are available in bags or plastic canisters. Mints can freshen your breath in an instant and keep it smelling fresh long after the candy has melted away. There are also some mints that have a hint of fruit flavoring, such as strawberry or orange, mixed in with the candy. Many types are sugar free. Another kind of mint is soft candy patties with a strong mint flavor that are covered with chocolate.
Chewing gum is made from a gum base that has been sweetened, colored and flavored. Many chewing gums have mint flavoring and serve the same purpose as mints by freshening your breath. Other gums are fruit flavored and designed to deliver a sweet flavor as you chew. You can also choose bubble gum, which is usually sweet, pink and allows you to blow bubbles when you're not chewing. Gum is sold in individual packs of 8 to 12 sticks per pack, and there are packages that include multiple packs of gum. You can also buy gum in canisters, bags and tubs that dispense individual pieces. There are many sugar-free gum options available. Another form of bubble gum that children enjoy is bubble tape, which is a long, coiled strip of gum that you can rip off pieces to chew.