People are different. There are those who love to munch on anything chocolate, from snickers to butterfingers, and enjoy the sweet and salty flavor. Then there are those who love candy and are obsessed with anything chewy, gummy, and gooey. Gummy candies have been rising in popularity lately, and there’s a gummy candy in almost every shape. But the famous ones are gummy bears.
Everyone has their preferred type of gummy bear. Some love it when it’s hard, like the famous Haribo gummies, while others can’t stand the stiffness and prefer softer versions. Candy gummies contain sugar and gelatin, which makes it challenging to get the right consistency. For a well-established company like Haribo, it’s safe to say the stiffness is intentional. So, why are Haribo gummy bears hard?
Why Are Haribo Gummy Bears Hard?
Gummy bears are made from water, sugar, gelatin, and some additives like colorings. And depending on the amount of gelatin used, the gummy bears may be soft or hard. The more gelatin is used, the harder the gummy bear. Haribo gummy bears contain a high gelatin concentration. This makes them hard and stiff.
Another reason that affects the consistency of the gummy bears is the time the gummies were left to sit. The longer the gummies are allowed to sit, the more they lose moisture and become hard. Haribo gummy bears are left to sit around for a long time. This makes them lose a lot of moisture, hardening them.
Then there’s the issue of how long the gummy bears have been on the shelf. The longer the gummy bears have been on the shelf, the harder they are. Haribo is a large company where millions of places stock their gummy bears. So, the gummy bears will have different levels of stiffness depending on the location and time they were stocked.
Remember, Haribo gummy bears are made to be hard on purpose, and this is what makes them popular. Those loyal to this brand enjoy the gummy bears’ stiffness and taste. However, there are those who love Haribo bears’ taste but can’t bear the stiffness. If you fall in this category, there are ways of softening the gummy bears.
How To Soften Haribo Gummy Bears
Depending on the cause of the stiffness, there are ways of softening these gummy bears. If the gummy bears are hard because they are close to expiry, there’s nothing you can do here, as you cannot reverse time. However, if they are stiff because of moisture loss, hydrating them is the best way to soften them. Here’s how to soften Haribo gummy bears:
Hydrating In Warm Water
Hydrating Haribo gummy bears in a bowl of warm water is the best way to soften them up. That’s because gelatin does not dissolve in cold water, so using warm water instead of cold makes more sense. Hydrating the gummy bears in cold water will lead to harder gummies than the ones you previously had.
To get started, fill a bowl with warm water and drop the gummies. Stir the gummies a little and let them sit in the warm water for about 20 minutes. After a while, you’ll start seeing the gummies increasing in size. This shows they are absorbing water and thus expanding. Hence, the increase in size. Once expanded, remove the gummy bears from the warm water bowl and place them on a clean paper towel to dry for a couple of minutes. Once dried, taste one, and you’ll realize they are softer and better than before.
Note that the drying part is very crucial in preventing your gummy bears from sticking to each other. If you skip this step, the gummy bears will stick together, and you’ll end up with a large mass of gummy.
Hydrating In Alcohol
Some people swear by hydrating gummy bears with alcohol. And if you love alcohol, you might as well love this treat. Depending on your choice of alcohol, vodka is the most commonly used. And although you can hydrate the gummies in a bowl of room-temperature alcohol, many prefer hydrating in the fridge.
To do this, place the gummy bears in a bowl and add vodka enough to cover them. Place the vodka bowl in the refrigerator and let it sit there for around 48 hours. After 48 hours, the gummies would have absorbed the vodka and become swollen and a lot softer. They’ll also have a bit of an alcoholic kick that goes a long way over the next few days as they cure.
Softening in The Microwave
If the Haribo gummy bears are stiff because they were allowed to sit for long, softening in the microwave can help. However, this method works great if you want a quick fix and don’t intend to keep the gummies longer.
Place the gummy bears in a microwave for five to ten seconds and remove them. The gummies should come out soft. It’s good to understand that microwaves vary depending on the manufacturer. So, the 5-10 seconds may be more or less based on the microwave type. Thus, keep an eye on that.
History Of Haribo Gummy Bears
Haribo is the first company to make gummy bears. This company started in Germany in 1920 and has been around for over 100 years. The founder, Hans Rigel, started this company immediately after becoming a trained confectioner at 27 years. That is after leaving Kleutgen & Meier, another German candy company where he worked.
Riegel began by buying a house in Kessebich, a sack of sugar, and a brick oven. He made hard candies for a while and then tried using gelatin. After two years of trial and error, Riegel invented the first bear-shaped gummy candy in 1922, and that’s where gummy bears came from.
Haribo gummy bears are designed to be hard, and that’s what they’re famous for. The stiffness is due to the high amount of gelatin that hardens them. Haribo gummy bears are also left to sit for longer, losing moisture and thus, becoming hard.