Have you been on holiday and purchased Rock Sticks or Sweets and have ever wondered how they get the letters Blackpool Rock or Brighton Rock into the candy? Well here's how.
The process in producing traditional seaside rock has not changed over the last century and are still hand made today in the traditional way by a craftsman called a sugar boiler.
The rock is made by using granulated sugar, glucose syrup and water which is mixed together in a large copper pan with enough water to dissolve the sugar and is heated to approximately 300 degrees. If not enough water is used this will result in burning the sugar or the rock candy will end up being too sugary.
After the sugar mixture reaches the correct temperature its then tipped onto a water cooling table.
The clear mixture cools sufficiently to be handled and then is constantly turned in, to prevent unsightly lumps in the finished rock. Some of the mixture is taken to a machine to be aerated and flavoured. Aerating the toffee turns it from a clear mixture into a soft white that forms the centre of the rock.
Food colourings will then be added and mixed with the remainder of the toffee. This will be used to make the colours for the outside and lettering inside the rock.
Letters are then formed by combining thin strips of colored and white toffee to build the letters.
The individual letters are then put together in their correct spelling order with a 'strip' of white, aerated toffee between each letter to make it readable. Each letter is approximately the size of a 2p piece which is a lot bigger than the tiny size after its been stretched into our finished rock.
The rock is then put in a machine called a Batch Roller. Its then pulled into long strings. This turns the very thick boiling into the much longer and much thinner size you see in the shops today.
Once the rock has set, the rock is cut to length using a device not unlike a pair of scissors or shears and then are wrapped in clear cellophane with a paper label applied.