The Origin of the Candy Cane; Are you a Fan?
Good ol' CANDY CANES... It's a toss-up. People either love to hate them or view them as delightful peppermint treats that signify everything decent about humankind. Haha! Okay, so maybe it doesn't go that deep, but their existence does raise the curiosity of many. Once upon a time, and even today, these sticky sugar-filled candies are known to keep kids quiet in the grocery store when "the adults" are trying to shop. However, the end result at check-out is a child covered in sticky goodness from head to toe. Luckily hand wipes were invented and continue to help with the problem to a point. Traditionally candy canes have also been used as decorations to adorn Christmas Trees and an easy treat to hand out at school functions before the holiday. So, with that, it's no surprise that History online researched and listed candy canes as the number one selling (non-chocolate) candy in November and December annually. In fact, it is estimated that 1.76 billion candy canes are produced each year!
So, what is the origin of the candy cane? According to Susan Benjamin of True Treats Historic Candy, candy canes date back to 17th century Germany. As the story goes, a choirmaster gave children "sugar sticks" (candy canes) to keep them still and quiet during their performance at the Cologne Cathedral. Hence, the hook was later added to the candy sticks to make them look like shepherds' crooks. Other theories of how the hook originated are up for grabs, but Benjamin believes the most logical reason was to allow families to hang them on trees or place them next to cookies for added appeal.
Plus, how about this? The traditional candy cane we all grew up with didn't exist until the turn of the 20th century. Until then, candy canes were white with NO red stripes or peppermint flavoring. Yet another theory illustrated by Benjamin claims that the newly "striped" version had religious implications. Many believed the "stripe" represented the Trinity or the blood of Jesus. Others saw the iconic treat as merely a prime marketing strategy.
As for devouring candy canes, what route do you take? Are you slow to enjoy the savory flavors, or do you like to chew and chomp them down in a matter of minutes? Plus, how about the wide variety of candy cane flavors? ...Jolly Rancher, Oreo, and more! So, sweet tooth enthusiasts, there you have it; the origin of the candy cane and other tasty facts!