History Of The Candy Cane

The symbol of the candy cane has been not only overlooked but the importance has been forgotten. They began their presence in the world as sugar sticks that a choir director gave to his young singers to keep them quiet. Read on for the fasinating details.

As we approach the holiday season, there is one symbol that we sometimes take for granted. Throughout the Christmas holidays the symbol of the candy cane is overlooked along with its importance. At Christmastime, the red-and-white-striped candy cane is usually found everywhere. Interestingly enough, candy canes were given to children who behaved well in church. Isn't that a wonderful idea! I'm sure parents everywhere in the world can relate to this extraordinary idea.

In 1670 during the Living Creche ceremony at the Cologne Cathedral, the choir director handed out these sugar sticks to keep the young singers quiet. Legend has it that he bent the sticks to appear as shepherd's hooks. The original candy cane was white in color, no stripes! Both amateur and professionals began making canes over 350 years ago.

During the seventeenth century people began to include special decorations on their Christmas trees. These decorations would be cookies, candy, or sugar candy. At this time, Christmas trees were beginning to gain popularity. It did not take long before people were using the candy canes as an ornament on their special Christmas tree. It seemed the candy canes left the pews and became a valued ornament in many homes around the world.



Soon the red and white stripes tasted like peppermint. In Atlanta, Georgia, a man by the name of Bob McCormack got the idea of making these candy canes as special treats for his relatives, friends, and other shopkeepers. Since the process of making the canes entailed so much labor, he was only able to do this locally. And then it happened! Bob's brother, Gregory Keller, knew there had to be an easier way to make the candy canes. Gregory invented a machine to produce the canes at a much faster pace. Therefore, Bob's Candies has become the largest producer of candy canes in the world.

Have you pondered the shape of the candy cane? Legend states the beginnings of the candy cane are Christian. The shape resembles a shepherd's crook. It has also been found that the candy cane was given to children who learned their prayers. The shape of the candy cane, like a "˜J', signifies Jesus. Since the church was founded on a solid rock, this is related to the hardness of the candy. Hyssop, a cleansing plant mentioned in the Old Testament, has a peppermint flavor. Christ's blood and His purity are represented by the red and white stripes.

If you take a good look at a candy cane, you will notice the different size of the red stripe. The blood that was shed on the cross is represented by the wide red stripe. The stripes and wounds that he received are symbolized by the smaller red stripes. The sinlessness and purity is represented by the white stripes.

Bob's Candy of Georgia has been in business for over 80 years making candy canes. Of course, today the process of making this tasty treat has changed over time. A railcar is delivered to Bob's Candy in which the sugar and corn syrup are already blended. This blend is put in cookers that cook the mixture at the rate of 6,000 pounds per hour. The syrup is poured out 100 pounds per hour to be worked. The next step is to pour the syrup onto a "˜rock', which is a water-cooled table. The "˜rock' is the same as a marble slab. Once the syrup is slightly cooled, it is put in a pulling machine. This part of the process is what makes the candy silky white. The machine puffs air into the candy, which is the reason for the silky white color. Now, here comes the fun part. A pre-measured vial of pure peppermint oil is poured into the batch.

A small batch of unsullied candy is mixed with red coloring by kneading. As you may guess, this is what forms the pinstripes. Long thin stripes are made from this mixture. These thin stripes are placed on thin strips of white candy that is six-inches wide. Two sets of pinstripes and two wide solid stripes are placed on a candy that has been formed in a bolster shape. As the candy goes through the spinner, it is waxed. Once the candy has been lifted into a batch roller, someone has to watch closely. The batch roller maintains the shape of the candy. The candy is taken to the wrap-pack room where it is twisted, cut and wrapped.

After the candy has been twisted, cut, and wrapped it resembles a candy rope. The candy rope is dropped into a blender, which makes the candy have crooks. The candy proceeds to the air-cooled convey or tunnels. Then they are ready to be packed into cradle packs. These trays are stored in climate-controlled warehouses until the Christmas season begins.

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