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Candy Canes

Candy Canes

How appropriate for Candy’s Corner to feature an article about the history of Candy Canes! There are so many different types of candy but candy canes always seem to standout as special. Maybe it’s because they come around once a year and dominate the candy scene during the holidays. Or maybe because they haven’t changed and are a constant we can always rely on. Whatever the matter, they are yummy, decorative treats that have a sweet history too!

In the beginning…
According to legend, the choirmaster at Cologne Cathedral in Germany gave children the first candy canes in 1670. He warmed sugar sticks and bent them in the shape of a shephard’s staff for the children in choir to enjoy during services.

Candy Canes as decorations
In the mid-1800s, Christians around Europe began decorating their Christmas trees both edible and non-edible decorations. History says that German-Swedish immigrant August Imgard of Wooster decorated his spruce tree with paper ornaments and candy canes in 1847. Everyone in the community loved his decorations and others began decorating their trees in a similar fashion.

Candy Canes get their stripes!
The standard white candy cane became available in different flavors and color in the early 1900s. The peppermint flavor with red and white stripes has always been the most common type. Some say that the white cane represents the purity of life while the thick red stripe is the Lord’s sacrifice for mankind.

Innovative inventions
Bob McCormack started making candy canes by hand for his friend and family in the 1920s. This difficult process was simplified in the 1950s when his brother-in-law, Gregory Keller invented a candy cane making machine. And with their success, “Bob Candies, Inc.” became the largest candy cane producer in the world.

National Candy Cane Day
While candy canes are good all year-round, you will find copious amounts in the stores around the holidays. And maybe some in the sale bin for National Candy Cane Day, which is on December 26!