The Middle English word "candy" began to be used in the late 13th century, coming into English from the Old French çucre candi, derived in turn from Arabic qandi and Persian qand, "cane sugar." In North America, candy is a broad category that includes candy bars, chocolates, licorice, sour candies, salty candies, tart candies, hard candies, taffies, gumdrops, marshmallows, and more. Vegetables, fruit, or nuts which have been glazed and coated with sugar are said to be candied.
Outside North America, the generic English-language name for candy is sweets or confectionery (UK, Ireland, Australia, New Zealand, South Africa and other Commonwealth countries). In Australia and New Zealand sweets are, in normal usage, further categorized as either chocolate or lollies (for all other non-chocolate candies).
In North America, the UK, and Australia, the word lollipop refers specifically to sugar candy with flavoring on a stick. While not used in the generic sense of North America, the term candy is used in the UK for specific types of foods such as candy floss (cotton candy in North America and fairy floss in Australia), and certain other sugar based products such as candied fruit.
A popular candy in Latin America is the so-called pirulín (also known as pirulí), which is a multicolor, conic-shaped hard candy of about 10 to 15 cm long, with a sharp conical or pyramidal point, with a stick in the base, and wrapped in cellophane.
The final texture of candy depends on the sugar concentration. As the syrup is heated, it boils, water evaporates, the sugar concentration increases, and the boiling point rises. A given temperature corresponds to a particular sugar concentration. In general, higher temperatures and greater sugar concentrations result in hard, brittle candies, and lower temperatures result in softer candies.