Candy cane has become an icon for the holiday season, a symbol of good cheer and a top choice for candy lovers around the world. These addictive sugar sticks have evolved from a simple peppermint treat to a complete gourmet assortment of flavors and unique designs. The classic shepherd’s hook candy can be found in oversized versions and miniature treats to decorate the tree. Here are just ten more things you didn’t know about candy cane:
1. The original candy cane didn’t have stripes. Original versions of candy cane were simply white, mint-flavored sticks that were often given to young choir singers during church ceremonies as a treat.
2. Some Christians believe the candy cane has a significant symbolic meaning. The ‘J’ shape represents Jesus, and the red and white stripes represent Christ’s purity and blood.
3. Modern day candy canes were invented in Georgia. Bob McCormack of Atlanta started the candy cane trend to honor the holidays in the early 1920s.
4. Mass-produced candy canes appeared in the 1950s. Bob’s brother-in-law led the way in factory production of candy canes to make the cutting, pulling, twisting, and packaging process much easier. Bob’s Candies are the original candy cane makers of America.
5. Candy canes are made with sugar, corn syrup, and starch. When you’re in need of a sugar fix, candy canes offer one of the purest sugar highs!
6. National Candy Cane Day is the day after Christmas. It’s celebrated on December 26 in the United States, giving you the perfect excuse to stock up candy during the Christmas sales!
7. 1.76 billion candy canes are made annually. Yes, that’s a LOT of sugar.
8. Candy canes were once used for medicinal purposes. The soothing peppermint and sugar combination serves as a pacifier for anxious kids. Anise, cinnamon, and other flavorings were used by apothecaries to help soothe and calm.
9. Decorating the tree with candy canes became fashionable in the 1850s. August Imgard of Ohio has been identified as the trendsetter for holiday decorating with candy canes, back in 1847 when Christmas trees were simply decorated with baubles and homemade decorations.
10. Spangler Candy Canes are one of America’s top brands for candy canes. Spangler is the company that also makes Dum Dum Pops, and has become an American favorite since its launch of sugary treats in 1906. Today, it makes over 1.5 million candy canes in Bryan, Ohio and 1.2 million candy canes in Juarez.