7 Global Candied Confections To Dazzle Your Taste Buds
Image Credit: Freepik

Fruit-based candied confections have been enchanting dessert enthusiasts and aficionados since ancient times. In fact, they are widely considered one of the oldest forms of desserts. The method for crafting these sweet dishes is quite straightforward; one simply needs to preserve fruits in a sweet sugar syrup. The fruits are typically poached in the syrup till they completely absorb the essence of the liquid, taking on a glistening appearance and enriching, fresh flavours.

Several countries have innovated their unique versions of candied confections; these include decadent Russian pressed fruit squares as well as elegant French pâte de fruits, both of which will be covered in detail below. Each region introduces a different spin on classic fruit confections, showcasing a rich plethora of sweet, tangy, or spicy flavours. These confections serve as fixtures during several events and occasions, such as carnivals, theme parties, and Halloween parties.

Take a look at the top 7 must-try candied fruit treats from across the globe.

Pestil, Bulgaria

Also referred to as “Gabrovo chocolate,” pestil is an authentic Bulgarian delight that’s crafted by boiling ripe fruits, including plums, prunes, and apricots. The fruits are typically flattened and dried, resulting in the creation of fruit leather, which is rolled and preserved. This dessert is considered healthy as it doesn’t contain any artificial preservatives or sweeteners. One can give it an even healthier twist by infusing the dish with power-foods like chia seeds and coconut.

Fruit Jellies, France

Also known as “pâte de fruits,” fruit jellies are thought to have been invented in Clermont-Ferrand, France, in the 10th century. Originally, these jellies were made by candying locally-grown fruits, such as apricots. Contemporary versions of this dessert incorporate “noble fruits,” including pears and quinces, which are lauded for their premium quality and rich pulp content. These jellies boast a colourful appearance and a striking, firm texture which makes them stand out from standard run-of-the-mill alternatives.

Image Credits: Freepik

Tanghulu, China

Also called “sugar calabash” or “bingtang hul,” this Chinese specialty was originally made of local hawthorn fruits. The fruits were powdered in rock sugar and served on bamboo skewers, which gave them a visually appealing appearance. Modern versions of this dessert retain several of its original elements; however, they also incorporate different fruits, including strawberries and mandarin oranges. This treat dates back to illustrious Song Dynasty, and it’s still savoured in North China.

Candy Apples, United Kingdom

Also referred to as “toffee apples,” candy apples are a British delicacy wherein entire apples are soaked in a sugary candy shell and attached to a stick. Although they share similarities with US-based caramel apples, their preparation method is quite different. For instance, their candied exterior is crafted by warming sugar to the hard crack stage with ingredients like corn syrup, sugar, water, cinnamon, and red food colouring. Candy apples are festive treats, featuring in fall festival celebrations.

Image Credits: Freepik

Pastila, Russia

Pastila is a Russian delight that has roots in the 16th century. The treat was initially relished as pressed fruit squares from which it was innovated to light puffs boasting a subtle apple taste. Coveted in Imperial Russia, this classic dessert recently made a comeback in the city of Kolomna. The delicate Kolomna pastila is handcrafted from apple puree and egg whites, and this preparation method is so remarkable that it has been preserved in a local museum.

Caramel Apple, United States

To prepare candy apples, entire apples are dipped in layer of caramel and garnished with nuts and other toppings, including fruits and chocolates. Like British candy apples, these treats are also attached to a stick. The natural flavour of the apples combined with the sweet notes of caramel forms a lovely blend of sweet and tart taste profiles. Granny Smith apples are usually recommended for this dessert as their inherent sweetness pairs well with caramel.

Image Credits: Freepik

Ubuyu, East Africa

Ubuyu hails from the tropical beach haven of Zanzibar. These delicious candies are made from the seeds of baobab trees, which are cultural landmark of Tanzania and East Africa as a whole. The seeds are boiled and covered in a mixture of sugar, salt, black pepper, cardamom, and vanilla. Owing to these diverse ingredients, this dessert comprises a myriad of flavours, ranging from citrusy-sour to spiced-sweet. Consumers must spit out the seeds once they’ve eaten the flavourful covering.