The Candy Cane

As Christmas approaches, you see candy canes in wreaths and trees, one of the most popular treat this time of year.   The U.S. produces approximate 1.76 billion candy canes each year with 90% of them sold in the weeks between Thanksgiving and Christmas. 

Peppermint and candy sticks date back to at least the 17th century in Europe. Candy canes made their way to the U.S. in the 1800s.  In 1847, a German-Swedish immigrant August Imgard decorated a blue spruce tree with candy canes. Candy canes likely spread during that time as a popular tree ornament.  After that, people wanted to put the candy canes on their trees as ornaments.  The “hook” really helped.  The candy stick became the candy cane.  

The history of the candy cane is and always will be mired in folklore.   One legend suggests that an Indiana-based candymaker shaped the peppermint stick into a “J” shape to represent Jesus, with the white stripe symbolizing the purity of his birth and the red stripe later added to acknowledge the blood he shed on the cross.  

Another tale explaining the origin story of the candy cane says a 1600s German choirmaster made peppermint candy sticks, in the shape of a cane to quiet down rowdy choir boys — the cane shape was intended to represent a shepherd’s staff.   

No matter what the tale, we all enjoy candy canes!

Merry Christmas to all!

Sarah, Mark and Staff

 

 

 

Posted by:  Jill

 

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