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Christmas Candy History
The Candy Cane
The candy cane, perhaps the most instantly recognizable icon of Christmas candy, is thought to have originated during the 17th century, when candy artisans in Germany created sweet white treats shaped like a shepherd's crook. Adults distributed these candy canes to children at Nativity reenactments to help keep them happy.
In the mid-18th century, a German immigrant to the U.S. used candy canes to decorate his Christmas tree. By the 1950s, candy canes were being mechanically produced using special machines. Some say the red stripes have Christian symbolism, and even the traditional peppermint flavor has been linked to a minty biblical herb.
An estimated 2 billion candy canes are produced each year during the Christmas season.
Christmas Stocking Traditions
One of the pleasures of Christmas morning for many children involves rooting through their stockings, digging for Christmas candy. According to legend, the earliest stocking stuffers included miniature bags filled with gold. Later stockings contained five gifts---one to please each of the five senses. Fruit, nuts and, of course, Christmas candies, were intended to please the sense of taste.
Homemade Christmas Treats
While store-bought Christmas candies are always tasty, many families continue to make traditional Christmas candy to enjoy at home or give away as Christmas gifts. Popular homemade Christmas candy recipes include peanut brittle, chocolate truffles, sugar-glazed pecans and fudge. We have all the baking candy you need to make your favorite treat.
Homemade Christmas candies are often packaged in clear jars wrapped with festive ribbon, or packed into boxes using homemade popped popcorn as package filling.
Christmas Candy Around the World
Different countries enjoy different kinds of Christmas candy. In Canada, people eat Christmas candies known as Barley Candy and Chicken Bones. Barley candy comes on a stick and is shaped like popular Christmas icons, including Santa Claus and reindeer. Chicken bones are made from a pink, cinnamon-flavored candy wrapped around milk chocolate. In Mexico, Christmas is celebrated by bursting a piñata filled with special Christmas candies. Knäck is a traditional toffee-like Swedish candy that is usually made at home.