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Old 11-30-2017, 09:24 PM   #1
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Old-fashioned ribbon candy & candy shoppe

I was browsing around on YouTube and ran across this old fashioned family owned candy co.. Here's how they make their old fashioned ribbon candy with the original antique equipment.



Hercules Candy in upstate NY has been making candy since the early 1900's when his grandfather and great uncle arrived from Greece not being able to speak English. The 2 brothers got a job in Boston at a candy store and learned how to make candy, and they passed the skill down to the subsequent generations.

This is making me hungry for some vintage style candy. I think they use all natural flavorings (unlike the large factory made stuff in the stores with artificial flavors). My grandmother always had a candy dish with this type of candy in it, sitting on the coffee table. Takes me back to my youth.

I love that old marble slab table. In another video it shows a pallet with like 200 pounds of Domino sugar in huge bags.

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Old 12-03-2017, 08:31 AM   #2
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Thanks jd_ I really enjoyed that. We always had ribbon candy in our stockings and they were always flavoured like that! There was one that was my favourite and I could never remember which colour it would be - I had to keep sniffing them to make sure I got the right one - think it was Wintergreen but ... long time ago. The pieces would be hard to close your mouth around with all those loops catching your saliva.... I was always drooling out the corner of my mouth.

I started buying ribbon candy for my kids but soon stopped when I realized that there were no individual flavours no matter where I bought them. So nice to know that somewhere they are still being enjoyed by kids (and adults of course).

Also wondering... I was brought up in Hamilton ON, not that far away... maybe we got this candy from them!
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Old 12-03-2017, 09:48 AM   #3
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That is my favorite candy. I love watching the old ways of doing things. I know when we go to Tennessee on vacation we visit the candy shops and I always just stand there and watch the taffy makers. Its amazing how they do that.
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Old 12-03-2017, 01:20 PM   #4
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Thanks jd_ I really enjoyed that. We always had ribbon candy in our stockings and they were always flavoured like that! There was one that was my favourite and I could never remember which colour it would be - I had to keep sniffing them to make sure I got the right one - think it was Wintergreen but ... long time ago. The pieces would be hard to close your mouth around with all those loops catching your saliva.... I was always drooling out the corner of my mouth.

I started buying ribbon candy for my kids but soon stopped when I realized that there were no individual flavours no matter where I bought them. So nice to know that somewhere they are still being enjoyed by kids (and adults of course).

Also wondering... I was brought up in Hamilton ON, not that far away... maybe we got this candy from them!
You're very welcome. Yeah their videos are kinda fun to watch. There are a ton of them. The mom has a cool quirky personality, and the dad seems like a nice mellow fella.

You might've gotten your candy from them. It's only about 300 kilometers away from Hamilton. They've been making candy in their family for 115 years. Their current shop/factory was opened by his grandfather in 1930. Same building.

They give tours, so if you ever swing down into upstate New York, maybe check them out. I think I'll talk my wife into taking a little road trip there. It's only about 500 KM's away. I love road trips, and we haven't taken one in like 5 years.
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Old 12-03-2017, 01:23 PM   #5
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That is my favorite candy. I love watching the old ways of doing things. I know when we go to Tennessee on vacation we visit the candy shops and I always just stand there and watch the taffy makers. Its amazing how they do that.
Yeah those old fashioned skills are amazing. Ever see The Woodwright's Shop -- the PBS show about woodworking? Roy does everything using non-powered tools. There's a bunch of them on YouTube and also I believe the PBS website.
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Old 12-03-2017, 05:16 PM   #6
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As a child, our church always gave to us kids, a box of ribbon candy with a hand string to hang it on the tree along with a Christmas Carol paper hymn book sponsored by John Hancock Insurance Co. I learned to play those hymns and can still see those notes in my mind. Silent Night was in the key of G and O Come All Ye Faithful was in F sharp.
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Old 12-03-2017, 05:33 PM   #7
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When I was little we used to buy Fanny Farmer thin ribbon candy for our grandmothers. It was one of the few inexpensive things that our parents steered us towards when we started buying gifts with our own money. Our gift giving repertoire for the old ladies in our life was pretty much limited to Yardley scented soap, dishtowel calendars or thin ribbon candy.
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Old 12-04-2017, 06:21 AM   #8
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My grandmother and I did a taffy pull once.
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Old 12-04-2017, 07:42 AM   #9
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My grandmother and I did a taffy pull once.
That is hard work. Up in Salem Willows, they have a candy stand and you can watch them do taffy pulls. Hard, hard work.
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Old 12-11-2017, 07:52 PM   #10
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That is hard work. Up in Salem Willows, they have a candy stand and you can watch them do taffy pulls. Hard, hard work.
Yep, the guy in that video is getting older so he has to work out to keep his arms in shape to make the candy. In another video he talks about it.
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Old 12-12-2017, 07:59 AM   #11
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We did quite a few taffy pulls with my Mom. One day when a few of my friends were there I decided we would make some, because there were several of us I decided to double the recipe - GADS! what a mistake that was!

We got thru it but I did most of the work as the others pooped out one by one. Meanwhile Mom had come home and I could see she was not too pleased that I had started the project with her not there... as said that stuff is hot and ergo dangerous. But I didn't dare stop and feel her wrath once my friends were gone - especially if I trashed the batch.

So we finished it and everyone happily took home some candy. Mom never said a word, I think she was secretly pleased I didn't give up and ask for help, but I never started another kitchen project without her knowledge!
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Old 12-23-2017, 09:32 PM   #12
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We did quite a few taffy pulls with my Mom. One day when a few of my friends were there I decided we would make some, because there were several of us I decided to double the recipe - GADS! what a mistake that was!

We got thru it but I did most of the work as the others pooped out one by one. Meanwhile Mom had come home and I could see she was not too pleased that I had started the project with her not there... as said that stuff is hot and ergo dangerous. But I didn't dare stop and feel her wrath once my friends were gone - especially if I trashed the batch.

So we finished it and everyone happily took home some candy. Mom never said a word, I think she was secretly pleased I didn't give up and ask for help, but I never started another kitchen project without her knowledge!
Ah, good times! :) How old were you?

I made a couple batches of hard candy today. First time ever. It's pretty simple -- just sugar, light corn syrup, water, little cream of tartar (not listed in the All Recipes recipe though I added a little because Hercules Candy puts cream of tartar in their candy). I stirred it until it started boiling, then I stuck the candy thermometer in and got it up to 310 degrees F (155 degrees C), then I took it off the heat and put in the food coloring and flavoring and mixed it.

First batch was cinnamon with no food coloring. Second batch was orange flavor with a little cinnamon and orange coloring. Second batch came out better because I halved the recipe so it spread out thinner atop the sheetpan (coated in powdered sugar), so the second batch came out nice and thin.

I couldn't find any flavors or food coloring at the local grocery stores, so I ordered them off ebay (LorAnn branded). I got spearmint, orange, peppermint, and cinnamon flavors. All but the cinnamon are natural flavors. And I bought orange and red food coloring (also LorAnn brand). Wife wanted the cinnamon (I'm not really a fan of it).
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Old 12-24-2017, 01:57 AM   #13
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Am I the only one who had to turn the sound off to watch that video? The obnoxious son/s? needed socks stuffed in their mouths. I don't find such insulting disrespect for your parents the least bit amusing.
Too bad, as those parents are part of a wonderful family legacy and should be treated with dignity. Stepping down from the soap box now.
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Old 12-24-2017, 10:02 AM   #14
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Yea that kid got on my nerves.
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Old 12-24-2017, 03:24 PM   #15
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Am I the only one who had to turn the sound off to watch that video? The obnoxious son/s? needed socks stuffed in their mouths. I don't find such insulting disrespect for your parents the least bit amusing.
Too bad, as those parents are part of a wonderful family legacy and should be treated with dignity. Stepping down from the soap box now.
lol, yeah that family is fluent in sarcasm (he gets it from his mom). They kid around with each other a lot. He almost died a few years ago from a rare neurological disease with like 10 syllables in it, so his entire family went vegan to support him. The vegan diet keeps him from having to take pricey medications.

He has another channel for veganism -- No Egg Craig. Thankfully, chocolate and most candy is vegan since his parents own a candy shop.
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Old 12-25-2017, 03:27 PM   #16
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Well, I watched that video when first posted... almost a month now? and although there was some joking going on I didn't find it obnoxious or disrespectful. Just close family fun. I got the firm impression had he overstepped his attempt at jocularity either one of his parents were perfectly capable of putting him in his place - both verbally AND physically.

LOL - jd - it was while we lived in Mahtomedi, MN so that was, hmmm mid 50's I guess I would have been 10 or 11.
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Old 12-26-2017, 08:17 PM   #17
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Well, I watched that video when first posted... almost a month now? and although there was some joking going on I didn't find it obnoxious or disrespectful. Just close family fun. I got the firm impression had he overstepped his attempt at jocularity either one of his parents were perfectly capable of putting him in his place - both verbally AND physically.

LOL - jd - it was while we lived in Mahtomedi, MN so that was, hmmm mid 50's I guess I would have been 10 or 11.
At least you're used to the cold up there in Quebec since you grew up in MN. Ha. My cousin is married to a guy from Quebec, but they live in California now.
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Old 12-28-2017, 08:17 AM   #18
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jd I only lived there a couple of years. Came from Hamilton, ON. -in the snow belt but not necessarily terribly cold. Hamilton is actually further south than Mahtomedi is.

Yes, I've lived in Quebec for more than 50 years now. This year my bones are not enjoying this early cold snap, which is usually reserved for Feb!

AND, btw, fyi, the last letter of the alphabet is called ZED not ZEE!
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