Nothing says Halloween and hometown goodness like a good, old-fashioned candy apple. These sugar coated, bright-red delights (or variations thereof,) are classic autumn treats for many Western cultures, especially at festivals for Halloween and Guy Fawkes Night, since the two holidays fall shortly after apple harvests take place. And luckily, many confection stores now offer them year-round, enabling you get a candy apple fix whenever your nostalgic heart desires.
Recipe books prove that we’ve been making these tasty fruit treats since the 19th century. The practice of preserving fruit with a sugar coating can be traced back to ancient times and is surely the catalyst for what we know today as the candy apple. Sometimes referred to as toffee apples outside of North America, the general idea is that whole apples with sticks firmly inserted into the top are dipped into a sweet coating. The traditional candy apple bears a thin, crunchy coating of bright red, brittle candy. But tradition has given way to innovation over the years. These days, candy apples can be either the hard or soft variety and are available in a number of flavors, from plain sugar or cinnamon, to the more sinful varieties that have been dipped in caramel and even chocolate. The apples used can be almost any variety, from Granny Smith, to McIntosh to Red Delicious.
It’s hard to forget the sensation of biting into (or attempting to bite into) your favorite variety of candy apple, whether it has a tinge of cinnamon or the mega caramel and chocolate concoction, rolled in nuts, sprinkles or even miniature marshmallows. It’s sticky, messy, and worth every bit of hassle that accompanies its consumption. And consume them, we have – at Halloween parties, county fairs, carnivals and boardwalk amusement parks.
If you’ve gotten your face all sticky from chomping into a candy apple with reckless abandon, we’d love to hear your memories of devouring these timeless confections in our comments section, as we tip our hats to a candied fruit that remains a treasured part of any fall festivity.