Candy canes are synonymous with Christmas. Thanks to their hook shape, they’ve become Christmas tree ornaments in their own right. While they’re sweet and delicious, be wary of their effect on your teeth!
That said, despite how popular candy canes are, so much about them seems shrouded in mystery. Why was the hook shape chosen? Why peppermint? When did they first appear?
A Few Facts About Candy Canes
Well we investigated these questions and found some very interesting facts about this holiday favorite.
- According to popular accounts, the candy cane made its debut in 1672! Apparently a German choirmaster, annoyed by the noises kids made in church around Christmas time, asked a local confectioner to make candy sticks to occupy the children’s mouths.
- Candy in church…seems a little inappropriate. The choirmaster got around this by having the sticks colored white. The color signified Christ’s sinlessness. The crook shape may also have been chosen to remind the children of the importance of the shepherd in Christianity.
- The first documented recipe for red and white striped peppermint candy canes dates to 1844. Not long after, people began decorating their trees with candy canes. August Imgard of Ohio seems to be the first to do this in 1847.
- Like so many tasty inventions, the first patents for candy canes came from Chicago. The Bunte Brothers filed the earliest patents for candy cane making machines in the early 1920s.
- Though the Bunte Brothers held a patent on the candy cane machine, it would be Atlanta native Bob McCormack who would mass produce candy canes. By the 1950s, Bob’s Candies was the chief candy cane maker. The company still exists as a brand of Farley’s & Sathers Candy Company.
- From its humble beginnings, candy canes have now reached a production level of 1.76 billion per year!
- Another stat: Candy canes are the number one selling non-chocolate candy in the month of December. 90% of all candy cane sales take place between Thanksgiving and Christmas.
- Last year in Geneva, Switzerland the largest candy cane ever was made. It’s total length was 51 feet. It wiped away the previous record of 36 feet 7 inches.
- In Commonwealth countries, the day after Christmas is celebrated as Boxing Day. However, National Candy Cane day is also celebrated on December 26. Mark your calendars!
- When it comes to nutrition, candy canes aren’t that bad. They only contain 50 calories and have no fat or cholesterol. But watch out because they’re high in sugar content. They’re major culprits in causing holiday season cavities.