Why did candy canes become the typical Christmas candy?

The origin of the candy canes is based in Germany, specifically in the city of Cologne.

Photo: Brigitte Tohm / Pexels

It would be difficult to imagine a Christmas without the typical candy canesHowever, it took more than 300 years for these basic Christmas treats to become part of the tradition.

There is no doubt that the famous red and white striped mint sticks are an important icon during these dates and it would be strange if they were missing at Christmas, but their origin dates back to around 1670 and not exactly in the United States.

The origin of the Christmas canes

The origin of this emblematic sweet is based in Germany, specifically in the city of Cologne and is related to the members of the choir of that place during the Christmas holidays.

In those days, sugar bars were used to calm fussy babies, however, according to tradition, those solid white sticks were connected with the holiday when the choir director of Cologne Cathedral gave them to his youngsters. singers to keep them quiet during the long year-end ceremony.

In the past, sugar bars were used to calm fussy babies. (Photo: Brigitte Tohm / Pexels)

From that moment on, it was normal for the youngest to be given a solid candy in the shape of a small stick, to keep them calm during some “tedious” event.

But later, also in the choir groups, they tried to harmonize that candy with the Christmas theme, so the candy maker was asked to bend one end of the sticks to make them look like little canes simulating the shepherds of Bethlehem.

When did they arrive in the United States?

Swedish-German immigrant August Imgard is believed to have brought the candy to America in 1897 when he decorated a small fir tree in Wooster, Ohio, with paper decorations and sugar sticks in honor of Christmas.

However, in the 1920s, in Albany, Georgia, candy maker Bob McCormack popularized candy canes as holiday treats in his city, with red and white stripes, but eventually Bobs Candies opened to market them.

Obviously, you used to have to make caramel fudge by hand, but in the 1950s, Bob’s brother-in-law, Gregory Keller, a Catholic priest, invented a machine to make the job easier.

Future generations of McCormacks simplified the packaging and distribution process, allowing the Christmas candy cane tradition to spread across the country.

In the late 1950s, Bobs Candies produced 1.8 million candy canes every day with sales exceeding $ 3.3 million dollars.

Bobs Candies produced 1.8 million candy canes every day. (Photo: Brigitte Tohm / Pexels)

The taste of candy canes

Candy canes weren’t always minty flavoredIn fact, the original candies were simply sugar bars, but in the early 1900s, candy makers added mint to the treat.

Mint reigned as the only candy cane flavor for more than a century, but today it can be found in many different flavors, including bubblegum, fruity, and even chocolate.

Although candy canes can be enjoyed at any time of year, 90% are sold between Thanksgiving and Christmas, with the second week of December being the most important for sales.

Candy cane crisis of 2021

Derived from the pandemic porcCovid-19 we have been able to notice a certain shortage in some basic products and it is no surprise that the same happens with some Christmas classics.

Stores like Publix even put purchase limits on a number of holiday staples, including coconut flakes, whipped cream, and frozen pie crusts.

But now, we are facing what the New York Post has called “the great candy cane crisis of 2021.”

According to the outlet, some retailers have been unable to keep candy canes in stock, due to a combination of ongoing supply chain problems and a slowdown in this year’s mint harvest.

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