There are some festive treats that are synonymous with Christmas: the red-and-white striped candy cane is one of them. The curved crook of the cane – which, as you candy-cane connoisseurs will know, is called the warble – is instantly recognisable, but have you ever wondered how it got its distinctive shape in the first place?
The Choirmaster’s Treat
The story goes that this iconic sweet was invented by the choirmaster of Cologne Cathedral back in 1670. On Christmas Eve he was faced with a noisy room full of children from the church crèche. Hoping to find something to keep them quiet and satisfied, he asked a local sweet maker to make a batch of candy sticks that he could give out to the children.
The choirmaster asked him to bend the sticks into the shape of a shepherd’s crook, so that the sweets would help the children to remember the shepherds who came to visit the infant Christ. The white colour of these canes signified the sinless nature of the baby Jesus.
Legend has it that this tradition of giving out candy canes to children during Nativity plays spread across Europe in the subsequent centuries. However, the earliest records we have of these crooked candy sticks come from more than 200 years after their fabled invention in Cologne. It was only in around 1900 that the classic red stripes and peppermint flavouring were added to the white canes to make the candy cane we know and love today.
The Confectioner’s Contraption
The next big development in the story of these delicious sweets came about in Albany, Georgia in 1919. Bob McCormack was a sweet maker who had been supplying the local neighbourhood with handmade candy canes that were time-consuming to produce. After working in McCormack’s candy factory, his brother-in-law, Gregory Harding Keller, designed a machine that twisted and shaped pre-cut soft candy all in one process, revolutionising the production of these iconic Christmas treats.
At hf Chocolates we stock candy canes large and small to cater to any customer. The striped pot of Sweet Boutique’s handmade range would look charming sat on a counter; what’s more, the canes are made from 100% natural ingredients. If you’re looking for something a little bigger, they also sell individual extra large canes which are adorned with a gift tag and a satin ribbon. These mini candy canes, which come in six fruit flavours, are the perfect presents for little ones to swap in the playground.
Young or old, these classic sweet sticks are always a hit at Christmas time.
Angelina Moufftard works for hf Chocolates, established confectionery suppliers specialising in high quality Christmas treats, ranging from chocolates to candy cane. Working with the most dedicated suppliers from France, Spain, Germany, Holland, Belgium, the USA and the UK, hf Chocolates' great tasting and beautifully packaged products add panache to any Christmas display.
This article is copyright free.