Rock candy is often dissolved in tea. It is an important part of the tea culture of East Frisia, where a lump of rock sugar is placed at the bottom of the cup, and Iran, where the sugar is placed in the mouth as unsweetened tea is drunk. It is also used in many nations, such as Hungary. In China, it is used to sweeten Chrysanthemum tea as well as Cantonese dessert soups and the liquor baijiu. In fact, in some provinces of China, rock sugar or "bing tang"(ice candy) is used in many dishes including meat, fish, chicken and vegetables as well as some fruits. It is also viewed traditionally as having medical properties and is prepared in food as yao shan or literally medicine food. In less modern times, rock sugar was affordable to only the rich. Chinese addicts of opium and heroin would often use rock candy to combat withdrawal symptoms by means of ingesting the sugar crystals into their blood streams.
Rock candy is widely used in India with aniseed as a mouth freshener, especially after meals, and is a common ingredient in Tamil cuisine, particularly in the Sri Lankan city of Jaffna.In the Friesland province of the Netherlands, bits of rock candy are baked in the luxury white bread Fryske Sûkerbôle.