“I want candy!” sang The Strangeloves, figuratively. While we like where they were going with that, we want actual candy. So the adventure pushes on from discovering the hard-crack stage to utilizing tragacanth.

Tragacanth is a natural gum acquired from dried tree sap. Many craft confectioners still use gum tragacanth to make sugar paste. It absorbs 15 to 20 times its own weight in water when soaked before being added to a sugar mixture. This allows the confectioner to adjust the texture and density of the candy without affecting its flavor. Gum tragacanth is also used in pharmaceutical applications, and as a stabilizer for other foods like jellies, salad dressings and mayonnaise. 

Use today’s Word of the Day: Eating Leftover Halloween Candy