Food date: 2017.351
’Tis the busy time of year. And wow did this year fly by. There are so many sweets and treats during the various holidays this time of year. I explored other ideas to write about but I kept coming back to candy canes. Which was odd because they are not my favorite sweet but then again, I cannot remember a time without candy canes.
Before I ramble more, like I said, it’s busy so let’s get right to it. Drummer boy roll please…
Here are 12 Food Fun Facts of the ever popular candy canes:
- Hard candies are centuries old, originally provided by apothecaries for believed medicinal purposes.
- Granulated sugar and water are boiled to 300°F (142°C) resulting in a straw like color.
- The candy needs to be stretched and pulled, which creates a whiter and brighter candy.
- The colored stripe (often red) was twisted around the white candy to form the cane’s signature look.
- Earlier flavors included anise with black stripes and clove with brown stripes.
- Some variety of mint flavor has been consistent throughout the ages.
- There are several myths about the origins of candy canes.
- One story describes a seemingly frustrated choirmaster who realized there was a higher probability that children would remain quiet during long masses with hard candies to occupy their attention.
- Another belief suggests the shape, an inverted “J,” honors for Jesus during the Christmas season.
- Candy canes were made by hand until 1920s.
- The Bunte Bros of Chicago patented a candy cane making machine around World War I.
- Today, over 1.7 billion candy canes are sold with dozens a flavors.
In my adulthood, I tend to have only one or two candy canes during the season. I often stick one in a hot cup of water for a sweet “tea,” and break up another to eat slowly while reading a favorite novel. Do you have a favorite way to eat a candy cane? What are your favorite holiday treats?
Despite this crazy time of year, I hope that you find time to take a breathe and enjoy some quality time with loved ones. And don’t forget to treat yourself (I don’t only mean with sweets and treats).
Happy Holidays friends! I’ll see you in 2018!