It's red, white, and hypnotic all over
December 18, 2014 11:15 PM   Subscribe

Decking the halls just wouldn't be the same without the mysteriously stripy hooks of sugar and cavities we call candy canes. But from whence did these delicate, tongue-spearing delights come from? The answer is still shrouded in mystery. (Includes a link to The Complete Confectioner, Pastry-cook, and Baker's striped candy recipe from 1844, for the old-school DIY types.) Hat tip to Gizmodo for the video.

Missing the dry taste of nostalgia from Grandma's candy dish? Here's another video on the making of the sinuous cousin to the candy cane, ribbon candy. Peppermint too dull? Have you considered Sriracha, Dill, Gravy, or Bacon? Fun for the whole family!

Ribbon candy, previously.
posted by jetlagaddict (8 comments total) 5 users marked this as a favorite
Ribbon candy.... that's taking me back to a Christmas when, as a young lad, I vomitted.
posted by armoir from antproof case at 11:50 PM on December 18, 2014 [6 favorites]

the candy cane is the shepherd's crook of the pharoahs, bedecked in the red-and-white ribbons of Osiris' mummy wrap, gory from his dismemberment.
posted by mwhybark at 12:10 AM on December 19, 2014 [4 favorites]

I was taught that the thin red stripes represent our (small) sacrifices in comparison to the (large) red stripe of Jesus' sacrifice.

I mean, we still sucked ours into points and stabbed each other with them...
posted by JoanArkham at 6:12 AM on December 19, 2014 [1 favorite]

For a christmas party, I made a peppermint ice cream with actual crushed candy canes in it. It was...delightful!
posted by Lemurrhea at 6:55 AM on December 19, 2014

I vaguely remember learning on some field trip to an old-timey replica town that the regular striped candy sticks were made into canes specifically for hanging on trees--all kinds of fruits and candies and stuff were used to decorate trees, and the candy stick folks wanted in.

Relatedly, when you grow up with large dogs you also grow up with trees that have candy canes only on the top branches. And nevermind popcorn garland entirely.
posted by We put our faith in Blast Hardcheese at 7:49 AM on December 19, 2014 [1 favorite]

That Snopes link continues to confirm that old-timey holiday cards are just creepy. "Wanted: a small boy who thinks he can lick me"? Back off, Ghost of Christmas Past, you're giving me the heebie-jeebies.
posted by deludingmyself at 10:54 AM on December 19, 2014

That first video is really fun - guy has the best job in the world. Love the bored, flat expression of the girl watching him, hilarious.

Wish the candy was half as fun eating as it is to watch being made.
posted by joseph conrad is fully awesome at 11:28 AM on December 19, 2014

Towards the end, the candy guy gives a bit of still warm candy cane to an onlooker/customer, and the customer says "That's fantastic!". Candy guy: "Yeah, they're better when they're warm."
posted by joseph conrad is fully awesome at 1:51 PM on December 19, 2014

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