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How Is Candy Floss Made

We are often asked how is candy floss made. Well there are 2 explanations we can offer. There is the scientific option, which talks about melting points of sugar, centrifugal forces and molecular chemistry. Or there is what we refer to as the ‘real’ method.

The Scientific Explanation

The mixture used to make the floss, usually sugar, flavourings and a food colouring, (we add additional stuff like alcohol, and er alcohol, and sometimes a bit more alcohol to create our alcoholic candy floss) is poured into the centre of the machine. This central drum has 2 jobs to perform. It needs to rotate at really high speed, while simultaneously heating the sugar to 186 degrees centigrade. This temperature is chosen because it happens to be the exact point at which sugar melts. I suppose you could heat it to less than that, but then you wouldn’t be making candy floss, so its best to stick to 186.

As the drum performs its second job, and spins really fast, the centrifugal force, moves the mixture to the outside rim of the drum. (We could get really scientific here and talk about how in Newtonian mechanics it is a pseudo force, but it’s probably best left to Wikipedia). As it reaches the rim, it comes into contact with a wire mesh that is being heated to the magic 186 number. This breaks the bonds of the constituent molecules causing the hydrogen and oxygen atoms to rearrange to form water molecules. Which promptly evaporate leaving only carbon behind. The carbon burns and the sugar begins to caramalise.

Now, ‘assuming your head hasn’t exploded’ , as it caramelises, the molten mixture is forced through the tiny holes in the wire mesh. Strands of hot liquid sugar are flung out, only 50 microns across, these instantly turn solid as they meet cool air, the action of the machine creates thousands of these strands which seem to appear as if by magic.

Or you can have the real explanation.

The Real Explanation

In the bottom of the candy floss machine, live the Irish Faerie folk. Not the sort usually stereotyped by cheap fantasy novels, but genuinely happy little critters. They merrily knit away turning the mixture into the candy floss we all know and love. Then pushing it out in the little holes at the top of the machine.

To be honest that doesn’t sound any more preposterous than the first explanation. I mean have you ever even seen a molecule? We know which we prefer.

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Limited Edition Halloween Candy Floss

The first in our range of specials, is our limited edition Halloween candy floss.

Halloween Candy Floss
Halloween Candy Floss

To celebrate the upcoming Halloween holiday, we have taken our usual alcohol infused candy floss, turned it toxic green in colour and added a ‘treat’, or indeed a ‘trick’ depending on how you feel about Entomophagy.

If you don’t know what the word means, join the club, we had to look it up as well. The picture below might clue you in.

Cricket Garnished Candy Floss

Still not clear? How about a close up.

Close up of edible crickets
Close up of edible crickets

Yep, that’s right folks, it means eating insects. In this case delicious crunchy crickets. And we do mean it, they are not only high in protein and minerals, and low in fat, they actually taste good. Once you get past the ick factor. They are a bit like a land based version of a shrimp. Truth be told you look at a shrimp (or prawn as we tend to call them this side of the pond), and it looks just as unappetising. But hey, turn it into a prawn cocktail and it slips down like a pint of Duckhams on a cold morning.

Some proponents of the cusine actually eat them live, we did consider that, as it would definitely have added to the ‘trick’ part of the trick or treat. Especially when you popped the lid and your food flew away, but somehow we didn’t see that going down a storm in leafy suburbia.

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