Barley Sugar

Appears in

Oxford Companion to Sugar and Sweets

Oxford Companion to Sugar and Sweets

By Darra Goldstein

Published 2015

  • About

barley sugar is a hard, clear sugar confection with a golden color, formed in round or oval drops or long twisted sticks. It is made in the United Kingdom, Australia, and North America (“barley sugar candy”), and also in France, where it is known as sucre d’orge.

Traditionally, barley sugar is made by boiling sugar to hard crack or the start of caramel at 328° to 346°F (150° to 160°C) and adding an acid to prevent recrystallization on cooling. See stages of sugar syrup. Craft production employed lemon juice or vinegar, but mass-produced barley sugar in the United Kingdom is now often made with a mixture of sugar and glucose, which has the same effect. See glucose. Lemon essence is generally used as a flavoring in the British tradition of sugar boiling.