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Oxford Companion to Food

Oxford Companion to Food

By Alan Davidson

Published 2014

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drops small round confections originally made by ‘dropping’ a mixture in rounds to set. In common with words such as kisses and laddu (Hindi) the word describes a shape rather than a recipe. Acid, fruit, and gum drops are all still produced. Chocolate is also made into drops, as are cake and biscuit mixtures, e.g. sponge drops.

Acid drops (a contraction of acidulated drops) are small clear sweets made from sugar boiled to the hard crack stage (see sugar boiling), with the addition of tartaric acid to give a sour flavour. Fruit drops are similar confections, highly coloured, flavoured with natural or synthetic essences. Pear drops are a popular British sweet, coloured half-red, half-yellow, roughly pear shaped and flavoured with jargonelle pear essence, or synthetic pentyl acetate.