Posts Tagged ‘pop rocks’
by Loralee Leavitt
When you pop them in your mouth, Pop Rocks fizz, sizzle, and explode. These experiments show you why–and how to have fun with them.
Bubbling Pop Rocks
Why do Pop Rocks pop in your mouth?
It’s because they have a secret ingredient.
You’re looking at the secret ingredient — carbon dioxide that’s pumped into the candy when it’s still melted, trapping bubbles.
Do Pop Rocks Bubble, Or Don’t They?
Pour water into one glass, and pour cooking oil into a second glass. Then add Pop Rocks to each glass. Do the Pop Rocks in water bubble and fizz? What about the Pop Rocks in oil?*
Pop Rocks are made of sugar, which dissolves in water. As the Pop Rocks dissolve, they release tiny trapped bubbles of carbon dioxide, which make the bubbles and the noise. But sugar doesn’t dissolve in oil, so the Pop Rocks in oil don’t dissolve or release bubbles.
This is why Pop Rocks can be mixed with chocolate and still keep their bubbles, such as in S Chocolate’s Exploding Chocolate Frogs, or in Chocolate Pop Rocks (sometimes available from www.candyfavorites.com). They don’t dissolve until you eat them!
Jumping Pop Rocks
To see Pop Rocks in action, pour a small amount of hot water (about 140 F) into a clear soda bottle. (If you use a glass instead of a soda bottle, prepare for a mess and wear safety glasses.) Then dump in Pop Rocks and see if any of them jump!
Why do the Pop Rocks pop up?
The hot water dissolves the candy so fast that the air bubbles explode, making the Pop Rocks shoot up like popcorn.
Whether you soak your Pop Rocks, drop them in oil, or explode them like popcorn, candy experiments help you enjoy Pop Rocks in all sorts of ways. There’s only one thing left to know: why are the “Blue Razz” Pop Rocks green? That’s a question not even candy experiments can answer.
Loralee Leavitt destroys candy for the sake of science at www.candyexperiments.com. Find more crazy experiments, like growing giant gummies, making candy crystals, or turning cotton candy into slime, in her book Candy Experiments.
*Experiment adapted from the Science Sparks blog
Sharability: 2 (This one is almost too good to share)
Denture Danger: 0
Welcome to the Pop Rocks laboratory!
This candy equally delicious and fun. The kit comes with a test tube, a small bag of pop rocks, and two secret ingredients. The directions laid out as pictures on the back of the package use the measuring unit “some” to simply explain the directions to the experiment.
“1. Pour some water. 2. Add some pop rocks. 3. Add some secret Ingredient 1 and see the magical color transformation. 4. Add some secret Ingredient 2. 5. Experience the wildest foaming reaction!!! …and drink the Magic Potion if you dare…”
“Secret Ingredient 1” is citric acid with some sort of blue food coloring. “Secret Ingredient 2” is baking soda. There is enough of each ingredient to do the experiment at least four times so resist the craving to dump all of the pop rocks into your mouth after the first try. The prime of this candy is after step three. The aqua blue potion is a taste treat with its tangy, sweet and sour flavor that makes it almost not worth it to add the baking soda to see the “wildest foaming reaction.” This is the reason you want to save enough of every ingredient to do the experiment a few times, so that you can taste the candy and see the foaming reaction.
When I added “Secret Ingredient 2” to my test tube the potion started to bubble over (though I wouldn’t call it the ‘wildest foaming reaction!!!’) and instinctively I sipped up the foaming candy potion. At first it hit me with a very sour and sweet, but mostly sour kick that was enjoyable for only a few seconds. It became a salty rotten taste that really made me feel like I had just ingested a magic potion (and also that I needed something quickly to get the bitter taste out of my mouth). I would suggest keeping the candy and the experiment separate. Do the experiment a few times where you don’t add the baking soda and enjoy the liquid candy potion that turns your tongue blue. And do the experiment a couple times with the adding of the baking soda so that you can enjoy the excitement of the chemical reaction, drink it if you dare, but chances are, one taste of the bubbly liquid will satisfy your curiosity.
The package is right to warn that this experiment can be very messy, but that does not mean that avoiding the messiness is not easy. Don’t add the baking soda unless you are holding the test tube over a sink or a bowl or anything to prevent the sticky blue potion from foaming out onto the floor. This candy is most fun when shared between two or three people, that way you both/all get to enjoy the foaming and the bubbles of the experiment, and get a good amount of the potion to enjoy to yourself. Put on your lab coat and protective glasses and get ready to make some magic with the Pop Rocks magic potion kit.
While surfing through the McKeesport Candy Co. website I found the Retro Candy Gift Pack, all of which comes straight and direct from the hazy days of my childhood. The late 80s and early 90s were, for this twenty-something, the pinnacle of sugary achievement. This pack includes it all, but I’m going to focus on a few particular items which deserve attention all on their own.
1. Candy Jewelry
Is there a single girl out there who didn’t love wearing candy jewelry? Heck, I’ll still wear a candy necklace from time to time with a T-shirt, just as a fun accessory. Candy jewelry loves to taunt you: it just hangs there on your neck or wrist, the delectable sugary goodness teasing you. You know if you eat it, the cuteness of the candy necklace will be gone, but how can you not? The answer is simple: buy two, eat one, and save one to wear. Or just eat them both. That’s what I would do.
2. Fun Dip
Oh, Lik-M-Aid. Fun Dip took the candy concept (sugar + flavors) and simplified it to its most basic parts. You have your packets of flavored, colored sugar substance, and you have the Lik-M-Stick, which seems to be basically a compacted stick of sugar. Lick the stick, dip it in the sugar, and pow! Plus, it’s like getting four kinds of candy in one: you get the three flavors of powder (including one that looks blue but turns itself and your mouth green when you eat it) PLUS the added satisfaction of devouring the sugar sticks when you’re done. However, I have one caution that comes from learned experience: don’t attempt the Fun Dip on crowded car trips. Between the bumps and jostles, powdery disaster could result. I’m not going to give the Pixie Stix much verbage, since they’re basically the same thing as Fun Dip, without the sugar stick, but Pixie Sticks are fabulous. I would always get the really huge, couple-foot-long Pixie Stix and just pour that powered sugar down my throat. Mmmmmm.
3. Sugar Daddies and Babies
When I got my braces in middle school, I pretty much disregarded all the restrictions they gave me about eating food. I chowed down on popcorn and gum and ice, but I quickly discovered that some of my favorite candies were now off-limits. The first time I attempted to down some Sugar Babies, well, disaster struck. It took me almost a day to untangle my metal molars from the sticky stuff, but man, it was almost worth it. Such caramel-ly goodness! I do have to object to the blatant patriarchal domination of this candy: where’s the Sugar Mama?!? We demand candy equality!
4. Pop Rocks and Sweet Tarts
There’s not a whole lot to say about these two candies besides that they’re fabulous. Penny for penny, Pop Rocks are some of the best fun you can have. I mean really, where else can you get a few minutes of mouth-popping excitement for under a buck? That’s what I thought. And Sweet Tarts, well, their name says it all. They have been a Halloween staple my entire life, and I wouldn’t have it any other way.
There are a few of these retro candy packs available, and they all have a far bigger selection than I’ve talked about here. After writing this, all I have to say that I really wish I were 10 and tonight was Halloween.