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The Tomahawk

The Tomahawk

The Tomahawk


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History of Candy Canes


          Do you like candy canes? People are always seen around the Christmas season eating and trying different/new flavors of candy canes. Candy Canes are an extremely popular candy, especially because of all the assorted flavors they make now. In fact, candy canes are the top selling candy that is not chocolate in December. But have you ever wondered where the candy cane originally came from or its history? 

          There is a legend that in the in 1670 the choirmaster at the Cologne Cathedral in Germany handed out plane sugar sticks to his young sisters to keep them quiet during the Living Creche ceremony. It was said that in honor of the occasion he bent the sugar canes into shepherds’ crooks. The founder of True Treats Candy, and the author of Sweet as Sin, Susan Benjamin, agrees that candy canes were invented in the 17th century.  

           Susan Benjamin also says that the German choirmaster gave the choirboys candy sticks to calm them down during services. Benjamin says that the reasoning of the hook being added to the candy stick was because the board complained saying that sweets were not appropriate for church, so the choirmaster added the hook to resemble a staff to make it religious to calm the boards worries or concerns.  

           Candy canes have only come in white for over 150 years, but in the 20th century red stripes and peppermint flavor were added. Some people think that the reasoning for the red stripes is for good marketing. Other people disagree with that thought and say that the reason for the red stripes was it was used for a secret code among persecuted Christians in Germany or England. They say that 3 stripes represent the trinity, and one stripe represents Jesus’ sacrifice. Another thing that they say is that the stripes represent the blood of Jesus.  

      As you can tell, there is a lot of history to the ordinary candy cane than you would think. Compared to the 20th century to now there have been a lot of new flavors created other than just peppermint. I personally like all candy canes including the peppermint ones but out of all the ones that I have tried the blue raspberry or the sweat tart ones are definitely my favorite kind of candy canes. Do you have a favorite unique flavor, or would you rather stick to the peppermint?