The History of Candy Canes

Most people enjoy candy, and various forms
of it are always a popular treat around Christmas time. Undoubtedly, the most popular form of candy that
kids and adults consume during the holiday season is the candy cane. Where did these sweet little treats come from? A candy cane is a cane-shaped hard candy stick. Historically, they are white with red stripes
and are peppermint flavored. In recent times, candy canes have been made
in a multitude of colors and flavors. They are available throughout the year, but
are specifically associated with Christmas. The first candy canes would hardly be recognizable
to those who celebrate Christmas today. The first candy canes were simple white sticks
made of sugar, and there was no “hooked cane”. No one knows who started making these treats,
but by the mid-1600s they were already widely consumed across Europe. The recognizable hook shape that we all know
and love did not appear until 1670. According to legend, a German church choir
director gave the candy this shape so that it would resemble a shepherd’s crook. He then distributed the candy canes to children
at his church service. As the centuries progressed, candy canes began
appearing as decorations on Christmas trees. The hook shape proved perfect for hanging
the candy on branches. However, even into the 1800s, the candy lacked
its now distinctive coloring. The characteristic red stripes did not appear
on candy canes until the early 1900s. It’s not clear who introduced the stripes
to the candy, but this is the first time we see evidence of red and white canes. It was also during the early 1900s that candy
makers started adding peppermint to the flavoring of the candy. A company called “Bob’s Candy” was the
first to distribute candy canes in large numbers, and by the 1950s, they were using a candy
cane machine to mass-produce the sweets. Today, the candy cane is more popular than
it has ever been, and it is a symbol that is instantly associated with the Christmas

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