About Candy Canes
January 13, 2010

Candy canes are a very sweet treat that we have during the holiday season. When we eat them we don’t even think about where they came from or why we have them. “I have never really thought about why we have candy canes but now I wonder,” said Jane H., 8th.  

Well the original candy canes were pure white and didn’t have any peppermint flavor, they were just plain sugar.  They were made about 350 years ago, and were originally called “sugar sticks.” In the seventeenth century people used them to decorate their Christmas trees; they also used cookies and baked goods and other things they made. “I usually don’t hang candy canes on my Christmas tree but I eat them a lot during Christmas time,” said Jessica B. 7th.

The shape of a candy cane came from Germany. People in Germany bent the candy cane to look like shepherd’s staffs.  Candy canes started becoming popular when they were used in Europe and then they migrated to America.  They became red when candy makers added little bits of sugar-rose to their candy canes.  Still then they didn’t have stripes. They were just light red throughout the entire candy canes, no stripes yet.  But, about 50 years later they developed red and white stripes.  When the stripes started so did the peppermint flavor, so now we have peppermint candy canes.  “I didn’t know that candy canes came from so many different places,” said Julien H., 7th.

Candy canes are so good, but how do they make candy canes?  First they start with corn syrup and sugar because those are the main ingredients.  They have to keep the candy cane mix in a warm temperature room.  Then it is poured on a vacuum cooker and set to cook. Then it is put on a cooling table. While it is on the table they add the peppermint flavor.  The batch is put in a kneader and it mixes the peppermint flavor into the batch of candy canes.  When all of the steps are completed, the final color is golden brown and then they have to pull it on a puller, and then it is put on a table in long string formations. The dye to change the color is put in that makes it turn red and white, or other colors.  Lastly, the colors are added and is swirled into the candy cane. "I have never made a candy cane, but it would be fun to try,” said Jane.

Now you know the history of candy canes, and why we have them.  Have you ever thought about why we have them or how we got them?