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Sweetest summer school now in session at UW-Madison

Candymakers from around the nation are visiting the University of Wisconsin-Madison now through July 31 for the 53rd annual Resident Course in Confectionery Technology, commonly known as the “candy school.”

Students learn the science of candies and then make them, varying the ingredients to see what happens. The curriculum begins with hard candy (sugar and sugar-free), then moves through gum, gummies and jellies, nougats and taffy, panning, fondants and creams, and culminates with chocolate.

The course is an important training ground for members of the candy industry. Over the years, well over 1,000 students – from line workers and company owners to technical staff and suppliers – have learned from the world’s confectionery experts.

This year’s batch of students includes a culinary tourist – an anesthesiologist from Marshfield who is using vacation time to attend the course.

“He’s here to learn candy science for his personal benefit, just because he’s interested,” says food science Professor Rich Hartel, who coordinates the program. “Beats a Caribbean cruise, right?”

(Hartel is also a faculty advisor to the Sweet Scientists, graduate students Maya Warren and Amy DeJong, who finished first in the recent season of “The Amazing Race.”)

Resident Course in Confectionery Technology website:

Photos from past Candy Schools can be found here: