Candy Cane (History, Flavors, FAQ)

There is no other candy that reminds us of Christmas better than a candy cane. It’s almost impossible that you haven’t tasted this red-and-white candy with the curved end during your Christmas celebrations. The candy is adored by many people, but not all of them can realize how long this amazing candy has been “decorating” our Christmas happiness and making us happy.

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Candy canes are an important part of the holiday season, whether they are used to decorate the Christmas tree, have a family holiday, or create a favorite recipe for your celebration. But it isn’t just a sweet treat you can enjoy with your family on Christmas. This candy represents the sweetest memories from our childhood, times spent with our loved ones and hides an important symbolic meaning behind its classic taste, shape, and appearance. 

What would Christmas taste like if it was candy? The answer is a candy cane. We agree that it’s hard to find a person who does not enjoy candy, but have you ever wondered how the first-ever candy cane was created?

Candy Cane

How Candy Cane Was Invented

At the beginning of the 17th century, Europeans started to use Christmas trees as part of their Christmas celebrations. They started decorating Christmas trees, but toys weren’t that popular at the time. Most commonly, cookies and sugar-stick candies were used for this purpose. 

At first, the candy cane was white, completely straight, and had just one – sugar flavor. The stick was used to balance Christmas tree branches. But, since sugar was very expensive at that time, people who were considered wealthy used candies for decorating Christmas trees. 

It wasn’t until 1670, when the cane-shaped candy became famous that, according to a legend, a Cologne cathedral choirmaster bent the sugar stick to make it look like a shepherd’s hook. Soon after, they noticed that bent candy was more practical than before since it was easier to hang on a traditional Christmas tree and it was much funnier than the straight ones!

Even though candy cane is considered a Christmas candy, it wasn’t only used to decorate Christmas trees, but it was also a good incentive for kids to behave. The candy canes were mostly given out to children during celebrations. That’s how it didn’t take long for the candy cane to become a popular tradition and, soon after, spread all over Europe and America, and, at the same time, became the candy associated with happy moments for people.

The Invention Of Stripes

Initially, when the candy cane was invented, the creators felt like it was missing something. That’s why the next big step in candy cane development history was the invention of stripes and flavors. From the old Christmas cards, we can see that the red stripe was added in the early 1900s, but no one knows who exactly invented them. 

It was also the time when candy-makers began adding different flavors, including peppermint and wintergreen, to candy canes. Interestingly, if you want to taste the peppermint flavor, you should know that only a white portion of the candy cane has the peppermint added. The red is added for decoration purposes only, and it has a symbolic meaning that we will mention a bit later.

The Symbolic Shape of the Candy Cane

The candy cane wouldn’t be as popular as it is now if not for the symbolic meaning behind it. According to some beliefs, the cane shape is an expression of the letter “J” for “Jesus”. Even more, other than for design purposes, it is considered that the red-and-white stripes have a symbolic meaning. 

The three red stripes symbolize the Holy Trinity, and the hardness of the candy represents the Church’s strong and solid foundation. Some people believe that red stripes symbolize the blood of Christ and that white stripes represent purity. That’s why the candy is strongly connected to Christmas and Christian beliefs.

How Candy Cane Is Made

The technique and ingredients of candy cane are very simple, and maybe that’s what makes it even more special.

The main ingredient used to make candy canes is sugar. Sugar gives candy manufacturers the possibility to transform into the desired shape, but the quality should be high enough so that the proper texture can be achieved. Sugar melts while heating and becomes a syrup that can be easily transformed and manipulated. Corn syrup is also used to produce candy canes; it helps to control moisture retention and protects them from spoilage.

There are a few steps that take place while making candy canes:

  • The first step is to mix all the ingredients. The water, sugar, corn syrup, and other ingredients are combined using a special steel kettle. 
  • The hot mixture is poured onto a cooling table, which helps the candy cool down, and is sent to the working machines where it will be stretched.
  • This is the point where they start stretching the candy and, at the same time, adding the flavors and colors to it. 
  • The next step is to cut it into desirable strips. It goes through undercutters that slice it at set intervals, and after that, the candy cane is branded. 
  • Eventually, the candy cane is wrapped in clear plastic, and here you go! The Candy Cane is ready to enjoy!
  • And the crucial part is that in every process of candy cane making, it is important to control quality.

The Most Popular Candy Cane Flavors

When we talk about candy cane flavors, the first thing that comes to our mind is – peppermint. Everyone loves the classic peppermint candy cane and no flavor can replace it, but there are some other interesting flavors we suggest you try:

Apple Pie

Apple pies are a favorite holiday treat for everyone, so why not try them in the form of candy canes? Imagine eating your favorite pie but in the form of candy! It sounds like a holiday miracle, doesn’t it? That’s why candy-lovers often tend to get a box of Apple Pie Candy Canes and share them with their family and friends.

Jelly Belly

Since candy canes are all about fun, why not try and make them taste like jelly bellies? No matter what flavors are your favorite, Jelly Belly is adaptable for everyone to enjoy. So, consider grabbing some different flavors and putting them in a basket for your holiday dessert table!

Oreo

What better way to celebrate Christmas than by combining two of your favorite candies? Just grab some Oreo Candy Canes and melt them in hot chocolate! What do you get? You get a perfect drink for your holiday to enjoy while watching your favorite movie!

Coffee

If you are one of those people who wakes up with a cup of coffee, then a coffee-flavored candy cane is for you! Make your morning coffee routine even funnier by treating yourself with a coffee candy cane.

Pickle

The huge popularity of candy canes led to the invention of many extreme flavors, like pickles. They are one of those things we can never say no to. If you enjoy pickles, you should try a pickle-flavored candy cane.

This might be a bit controversial since people are pessimistic about putting pickle flavor in the shape of the candy. Who wouldn’t be? But, it is something to try even once in your life, even though eventually you aren’t happy with the taste.

Mac & Cheese

This is another extreme flavor we were talking about. You might love Mac and Cheese, but we aren’t sure how the taste of Mac and Cheese flavored candy cane will surprise you – in a good way or, most probably, in a bad way. But during boring times, what else do we have left to do? 

Candy Cane Nutrition

Serving Size:1 candy cane (14g)% Daily Value*
Amount Per Serving
Calories from Fat 0.3
Calories 55
Total Fat 0g0%
Saturated Fat 0g0%
Polyunsaturated Fat 0g
Monounsaturated Fat 0g
Cholesterol 0mg0%
Sodium 5.3mg0%
Potassium 0.7mg0%
Total Carbohydrates 14g5%
Dietary Fiber 0g0%
Sugars 8.8g
Protein 0g
Vitamin A0%
Vitamin C0%
Calcium0%
Iron0.2%
  • Percent Daily Values are based on a 2000 calorie diet.

Pictures of Candy Cane

6 Health Benefits Of Peppermint Candy Cane

Perhaps unsurprisingly, there are many incredible candies worldwide that we are crazy about, but in most cases, they are also harmful to our health. What would be a better combination than your favorite candy that at the same time isn’t harmful to your health, but even more – it’s beneficial! Here are some of the benefits of candy cane you should know!

  1. It Contains Antioxidants

Ever wondered what the most famous candy cane flavor is? In fact, peppermint tends to be the most popular one, and it may be due to the fact that it has many health benefits, such as antioxidants. Peppermint, believe it or not, not only contains them but has the highest amount found in nature.

Why is this good news? Because antioxidants help our bodies be stronger. This will strengthen us and make our immune systems even stronger! All of these help our body to get ready for diseases and infections and improve our health regeneration system.

  1. It Will Help You Freshen Up Your Breath

Bad breath problems are very intimidating for many people. We’ve all experienced the inconvenience of a bad odor while breathing at some point in our lives. How can the candy cane help us? That peppermint oil again! Peppermint oil in candy canes kills the microbes that cause bad breath and helps us to be more confident in ourselves.

  1. A Great Relief for Tummy Troubles 

Another benefit of peppermint is that it helps with some tummy troubles and effectively helps with cramps and nausea. Peppermint is known to be a good pain reliever, and that can be good advice for many since stomach pain is very common in every age category. Candy canes contain a large amount of peppermint, and enjoying candy is a kind of incredible way to get it in your body. If you want to get some more peppermint, York Peppermint Patties won’t disappoint you!

  1. It Helps With Cravings

Guess what? Peppermint is known to neutralize your carvings. Even smelling peppermint can help you with your appetite, and that means that classic peppermint candy cane is an effective and enjoyable way to fight your “monster” appetite.

  1. It Reduces Levels of Stress and Anxiety 

Stress, anxiety, and fatigue are part of our everyday lives. All this tension damages our health and may even cause terrible headaches sometimes, and none of these is easily fixable. The eating process of candy cane can help you calm your nerves and relax, and even more, it is said that peppermint is an effective way to help anxiety, stress, and fatigue problems. What else do we need?

Warning! – Why Candy Cane Can Be Harmful

Well, it seems like the candy is just perfection, but don’t get too excited. Even though it has many benefits and is good for our mental and physical health, it is made of sugar, which means that too much intake of candy cane can be dangerous. In this case, try some amazing sugar-free candy that you will love!

Even though candy is good for your breath, it might not be the same for your teeth since its consistency is hard. Take care of your teeth and don’t try to bite them, just slowly enjoy the incredible flavor.

Modern Candy Canes

Since this popular candy never loses its hype, candy manufacturers are actively trying to create innovative flavors and improvements for Candy Cane, but with all the peppermint benefits, it’s difficult to replace the legend. 

This is why candy cane flavors have expanded in recent years, and today, with the classic peppermint-flavored candy canes, we have a wide variety of flavors to choose from, including traditional flavors such as cherry, orange, pineapple, and so on, and non-traditional flavors that we already mentioned. 

Classic peppermint-flavored candy canes are very easy to find, but you might have a hard time looking for the unusually flavored ones. You may have to shop online for some non-traditional flavors.

Bottom Line

Many candies have good taste, but not all of them are destined to become part of human development history. The candy cane is now an important part of Christmas for both Christians and non-Christians alike.

If you don’t believe the Christian symbolism of the candy, you can trust the historians that say that the religious symbolism came later. A candy cane is not a simple candy, but it is a part of our celebration culture.

Which unusual flavor of candy cane would you try? Let us know in the comment section.

Candy Cane FAQ

How many calories in Candy Cane?

There are 55 Calories in 1 candy cane (14g)

When is National Candy Cane day?

National Candy Cane Day 2022 in the United States is the 26th of December.

What does the Candy Cane represent?

The Christmas candy cane is a symbol of the simple roots of Christianity. The candy is the shape of a shepherd’s crook, representing the shepherds who were first to worship the newborn Christ.

When was the Candy Cane invented?

Legend has it that the candy cane dates back to 1670, when the choirmaster at the Cologne Cathedral in Germany handed out sugar sticks among his young singers to keep them quiet during the Living Creche ceremony.

How much Sugar is in a Candy Cane?

There is 8.8g of Sugar in 1 candy cane (14g).

How many carbs in Candy Cane?

There are a total of 14g of Carbohydrates in 1 candy cane (14g).

Who invented the Candy Cane?

Legend has it that the candy cane dates back to 1670, when the choirmaster at the Cologne Cathedral in Germany handed out sugar sticks among his young singers to keep them quiet during the Living Creche ceremony.

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