Candy cane’s history?

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The candy cane was originally a white stick used as a Christmas tree decoration in the 17th century. It was later shaped into a “J” for Jesus and adorned with red stripes to symbolize his purity and bloodshed. The peppermint flavor is linked to an herb used in Old Testament purification rites. The candy cane’s red stripes were added in the 1920s by a pastry chef from Albany, Georgia.

Numerous stories circulate about the invention of the candy cane as a religious symbol of the Christmas season. However, the confection did not appear in its current striped and hooked form until the early 20th century. The earliest incarnation of the candy cane was a straight white stick, first invented in the 17th century as a decoration for Christmas trees.

A popular legend holds that a candy maker created the candy cane to look like a “J” for Jesus, or a shepherd’s crook when held to the other end. The white candy is said to symbolize Jesus’ purity, or virgin birth. The three small red stripes are a reminder of the scourging Christ received before his crucifixion and the large single stripe is a symbol of the blood he shed. The peppermint flavor is similar to that of an herb called hyssop, which is present in the purification rites described in the Old Testament.

While the candy cane holds these connotations for many Christians, they weren’t the original inspiration for the holiday. It was originally a simple Christmas tree decoration. In the 1670s, the Kapellmeister of Cologne Cathedral came up with the idea of ​​folding candies into the shape of shepherd crooks to add a religious connotation and deliver the treats to children during Mass. For nearly 200 years, the candy cane was white and flavored only with sugar.

The candy cane remained pure white until the 1920s, when pastry chef Bob McCormick of Albany, Georgia added the famous red stripes. Red-striped mint candy first appeared in the mid-19th century in the Swedish town of Granna, and McCormick may have been inspired by these treats. The red and white candy canes were first woven by hand and the process was mechanized in the 1950s.

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