4S Ranch Allied Gardens Alpine Baja Balboa Park Bankers Hill Barrio Logan Bay Ho Bay Park Black Mountain Ranch Blossom Valley Bonita Bonsall Borrego Springs Boulevard Campo Cardiff-by-the-Sea Carlsbad Carmel Mountain Carmel Valley Chollas View Chula Vista City College City Heights Clairemont College Area Coronado CSU San Marcos Cuyamaca College Del Cerro Del Mar Descanso Downtown San Diego Eastlake East Village El Cajon Emerald Hills Encanto Encinitas Escondido Fallbrook Fletcher Hills Golden Hill Grant Hill Grantville Grossmont College Guatay Harbor Island Hillcrest Imperial Beach Imperial Valley Jacumba Jamacha-Lomita Jamul Julian Kearny Mesa Kensington La Jolla Lakeside La Mesa Lemon Grove Leucadia Liberty Station Lincoln Acres Lincoln Park Linda Vista Little Italy Logan Heights Mesa College Midway District MiraCosta College Miramar Miramar College Mira Mesa Mission Beach Mission Hills Mission Valley Mountain View Mount Hope Mount Laguna National City Nestor Normal Heights North Park Oak Park Ocean Beach Oceanside Old Town Otay Mesa Pacific Beach Pala Palomar College Palomar Mountain Paradise Hills Pauma Valley Pine Valley Point Loma Point Loma Nazarene Potrero Poway Rainbow Ramona Rancho Bernardo Rancho Penasquitos Rancho San Diego Rancho Santa Fe Rolando San Carlos San Marcos San Onofre Santa Ysabel Santee San Ysidro Scripps Ranch SDSU Serra Mesa Shelltown Shelter Island Sherman Heights Skyline Solana Beach Sorrento Valley Southcrest South Park Southwestern College Spring Valley Stockton Talmadge Temecula Tierrasanta Tijuana UCSD University City University Heights USD Valencia Park Valley Center Vista Warner Springs

Artisanal, handcrafted bends

Stick-candy knowledge bomb.

Dear Hipster:

How do they make the stripes on candy canes? And when was the candy cane invented? And why canes?

— Angie

If I may condense a lot of accessible information into one super nugget of candy-cane errata...

Nobody knows the exact inventor of the candy cane or when it happened. Probably somewhere in Europe about 200 years ago. No one concretely links Swedish polkagris or English rock to candy canes, but both were stripey candy sticks before it was cool. Till about 1900, all candy canes were white. Then, someone figured to slap a ribbon of colored candy on the outside, which turns into stripes as the lump of pure candy gets stretched and twisted. American “stick candy” had been into the swirly look for decades, so it didn’t take much lateral thinking to treat candy canes the same. Up to the mid-20th century, every candy cane had to be bent by hand. A Catholic priest, whose brother-in-law owned Bobs Candy in Albany, Georgia, patented the Keller Machine, which bends the canes on an assembly line, thus guaranteeing Bobs’ hold on the candy-cane market, at least until 2005, when the huge company that bought Bobs moved all the production to Mexico and shuttered the Albany factory, thus putting a handful of locals out of work just in time for Black Friday.

Considering the glorious history of artisan candy-cane production in the U.S., it’s a surprise that there isn’t a thriving niche market. Hammond’s handmade candy canes (Denver, Colorado) still get bent by hand, but, to this date, no hipster has successfully operated a handcrafted, artisan hard-candy shop. This is because hard candy (at one point in time the only kind of candy there was) is the Salisbury steak of the confectionary world, terminally uncool and bereft of contemporary revisioning at the hands of the cutting-edge culinarians who brought us cocktails in Mason jars and pickled everything.

Here's something you might be interested in.
Submit a free classified
or view all

Previous article

Five from the Fourth Annual Joyce Forum Jewish Short Film Festival

Short and sweet and sour
Next Article

The massive, small molcajete at La Sinaloense

How regionally inspired mariscos fill a restaurant patio in La Presa

Dear Hipster:

How do they make the stripes on candy canes? And when was the candy cane invented? And why canes?

— Angie

If I may condense a lot of accessible information into one super nugget of candy-cane errata...

Nobody knows the exact inventor of the candy cane or when it happened. Probably somewhere in Europe about 200 years ago. No one concretely links Swedish polkagris or English rock to candy canes, but both were stripey candy sticks before it was cool. Till about 1900, all candy canes were white. Then, someone figured to slap a ribbon of colored candy on the outside, which turns into stripes as the lump of pure candy gets stretched and twisted. American “stick candy” had been into the swirly look for decades, so it didn’t take much lateral thinking to treat candy canes the same. Up to the mid-20th century, every candy cane had to be bent by hand. A Catholic priest, whose brother-in-law owned Bobs Candy in Albany, Georgia, patented the Keller Machine, which bends the canes on an assembly line, thus guaranteeing Bobs’ hold on the candy-cane market, at least until 2005, when the huge company that bought Bobs moved all the production to Mexico and shuttered the Albany factory, thus putting a handful of locals out of work just in time for Black Friday.

Considering the glorious history of artisan candy-cane production in the U.S., it’s a surprise that there isn’t a thriving niche market. Hammond’s handmade candy canes (Denver, Colorado) still get bent by hand, but, to this date, no hipster has successfully operated a handcrafted, artisan hard-candy shop. This is because hard candy (at one point in time the only kind of candy there was) is the Salisbury steak of the confectionary world, terminally uncool and bereft of contemporary revisioning at the hands of the cutting-edge culinarians who brought us cocktails in Mason jars and pickled everything.

Sponsored
Here's something you might be interested in.
Submit a free classified
or view all
Previous article

Clem’s Station, a place for talkies

Talmadge’s new neighborhood restaurant more about the company you keep
Next Article

Skateboarding toward a musical horizon

Urethane, the Lyrics, Belladon, Plosivs, Stephen Bishop
Comments
0

Be the first to leave a comment.

Sign in to comment

Sign in

Ask a Hipster — Advice you didn't know you needed Big Screen — Movie commentary Blurt — Music's inside track Booze News — San Diego spirits Classical Music — Immortal beauty Classifieds — Free and easy Cover Stories — Front-page features Drinks All Around — Bartenders' drink recipes Excerpts — Literary and spiritual excerpts Feast! — Food & drink reviews Feature Stories — Local news & stories From the Archives — Spotlight on the past Golden Dreams — Talk of the town Letters — Our inbox [email protected] — Local movie buffs share favorites Movie Reviews — Our critics' picks and pans Musician Interviews — Up close with local artists Neighborhood News from Stringers — Hyperlocal news News Ticker — News & politics Obermeyer — San Diego politics illustrated Outdoors — Weekly changes in flora and fauna Overheard in San Diego — Eavesdropping illustrated Poetry — The old and the new Reader Travel — Travel section built by travelers Reading — The hunt for intellectuals Roam-O-Rama — SoCal's best hiking/biking trails San Diego Beer — Inside San Diego suds SD on the QT — Almost factual news Sheep and Goats — Places of worship Special Issues — The best of Street Style — San Diego streets have style Surf Diego — Real stories from those braving the waves Tin Fork — Silver spoon alternative Under the Radar — Matt Potter's undercover work Unforgettable — Long-ago San Diego Unreal Estate — San Diego's priciest pads Your Week — Daily event picks
4S Ranch Allied Gardens Alpine Baja Balboa Park Bankers Hill Barrio Logan Bay Ho Bay Park Black Mountain Ranch Blossom Valley Bonita Bonsall Borrego Springs Boulevard Campo Cardiff-by-the-Sea Carlsbad Carmel Mountain Carmel Valley Chollas View Chula Vista City College City Heights Clairemont College Area Coronado CSU San Marcos Cuyamaca College Del Cerro Del Mar Descanso Downtown San Diego Eastlake East Village El Cajon Emerald Hills Encanto Encinitas Escondido Fallbrook Fletcher Hills Golden Hill Grant Hill Grantville Grossmont College Guatay Harbor Island Hillcrest Imperial Beach Imperial Valley Jacumba Jamacha-Lomita Jamul Julian Kearny Mesa Kensington La Jolla Lakeside La Mesa Lemon Grove Leucadia Liberty Station Lincoln Acres Lincoln Park Linda Vista Little Italy Logan Heights Mesa College Midway District MiraCosta College Miramar Miramar College Mira Mesa Mission Beach Mission Hills Mission Valley Mountain View Mount Hope Mount Laguna National City Nestor Normal Heights North Park Oak Park Ocean Beach Oceanside Old Town Otay Mesa Pacific Beach Pala Palomar College Palomar Mountain Paradise Hills Pauma Valley Pine Valley Point Loma Point Loma Nazarene Potrero Poway Rainbow Ramona Rancho Bernardo Rancho Penasquitos Rancho San Diego Rancho Santa Fe Rolando San Carlos San Marcos San Onofre Santa Ysabel Santee San Ysidro Scripps Ranch SDSU Serra Mesa Shelltown Shelter Island Sherman Heights Skyline Solana Beach Sorrento Valley Southcrest South Park Southwestern College Spring Valley Stockton Talmadge Temecula Tierrasanta Tijuana UCSD University City University Heights USD Valencia Park Valley Center Vista Warner Springs
Close