TikTok's Newest Sugary Food Trend Uses Only Three Ingredients

One of the latest TikTok trends isn't really so new after all, but we suspect many of the young Americans who call TikTok home are finding out about it for the first time. The young and random TikTok couple behind @samandjessofficial were latecomers to the trend, which you can find on the video-sharing platform by searching for the hashtag #candiedfruit. It's one of the simpler cooking trends you'll find anywhere because you only need three ingredients: sugar, water, and your favorite fruit.

Sam and Jess demonstrate on TikTok just how easy it is to hop on the candied fruit bandwagon. Mix one part water and two parts sugar in a pan, heat to a boil, skewer some fruit, dip it in your warm syrup, then dip again in ice water to harden the syrup into a crunchy glaze.

Sam and Jess posted their candied fruit TikTok about a week ago. But most of the 10 million views #candiedfruit has gotten date much farther back than that. Haley Turner, @h.nicole22 on TikTok, is lucky to get 1,000 views on a typical video. But her candied fruit post from August 2020 has been watched nearly 1 million times.

The candied fruit trend started in China, not on TikTok

Turner worked with strawberries in her candied fruit TikTok. Sam and Jess went for strawberries too, along with grapes and pineapple. Any fruit will do, and who's to stop you from making candied carrots or broccoli?

The TikTok account @nomlist, run by Kaila and Kiki, posted a candied strawberry video on Dec. 6. They were wise to remind their viewers to keep stirring their sugar-water syrup, or else the sugar will burn. Kaila and Kiki called the candied fruits by their traditional name, Chinese tanghulu.

In Hong Kong, you'll typically find tanghulu made with small, crabapple-like hawthorns, and the clear caramel coating probably complements the fruit's tartness nicely (via The Hong Kong Cookery). Even in Hong Kong or Taiwan, you can find more traditional fruits aside from just strawberries. In Taiwan, the usual tanghulu fruits are cherry tomatoes, occasionally stuffed with preserved prunes (via Choochoo-ca-Chew). When even so-so strawberries that aren't fully ripe are subjected to the tanghulu treatment, they seem like they're bursting with ripeness, according to The Hong Kong Cookery.

So go ahead and jump on the latest TikTok trend: candied fruit. Just remember, we didn't hear about it from TikTok first. The trend originated from same place TikTok did, in fact — this little place called China.