Although the holiday season is nearly over, many of us will continue to enjoy our favorite foods, songs, and other comforts that make this time of year so special. Some people get into the spirit of the season by indulging in peppermint-flavored candies, drinks, and desserts; while pumpkin spice is the flavor of fall, winter is clearly peppermint’s domain. Why do so many of us associate peppermint with winter and Christmastime? Grab some peppermint bark from Wockenfuss and settle in to learn about this flavor’s origins and its role in holiday candy.
What is Peppermint? How is it Used in Holiday Candy?
The peppermint plant, Mentha × piperita, is a perennial herb resulting from crossing spearmint and watermint. Peppermint oil is used to give flavor to all kinds of sweet treats, and its leaves have long been used in teas and traditional medicines. While peppermint leaves themselves are edible, processed peppermint oil carries much more of the plant’s skin-tingling flavor. As a result, most peppermint holiday candy contains peppermint extract rather than dried leaves. This plant’s cool, refreshing taste is due to its high menthol content, and chefs and candymakers often pair peppermint with chocolate, vanilla, cream, and coffee. Peppermint is also a favorite with mixologists and coffee connoisseurs; peppermint cocktails and coffee creations are ubiquitous at this time of year.
Candy Canes: a Holiday Candy Classic
Candy canes are an incredibly popular example of peppermint holiday candy. While some stories allege that they originated in Cologne, Germany in the late 1600s, the first written mentions of candy canes occurred in the 1800s. Some literature from the late 1800s and early 1900s shows candy canes being associated with Christmas celebrations. Peppermint-flavored “stick candy” was a known Christmas treat at this time, but crafting candy canes by hand was a labor-intensive process. In 1957, two candymakers, Bob McCormack and Gregory Keller, patented the “Keller Machine” to create candy canes’ trademark shape with significantly less manual labor than earlier hand-twisted methods. With the introduction of machines and countless manufacturing innovations over the last few decades, candy manufacturers have been able to produce enough candy canes to meet booming holiday demand worldwide.
Other Ways to Enjoy Peppermint and Holiday Candy
While candy canes are a holiday candy staple, there are plenty of other peppermint favorites that are hallmarks of the season. Our peppermint bark is a delicious seasonal treat that anyone will enjoy, and our Christmas peppermints are a festive favorite. While some of our refreshing mint offerings are seasonal, others are available year-round. Mint nonpareils combine the cool taste of mint with a creamy, melt-in-your-mouth candy base and crunchy candy seeds. We offer dark chocolate mint truffles, mint creams, and gumdrop spearmint leaves to satisfy your mint cravings anytime! Visit us online or in-store to bring the taste of peppermint home with you.
A Wide Selection of Delicious Treats from Wockenfuss Candies
Head to WockenfussCandies.com and browse our wide selection of chocolates and candies; we promise you won’t be disappointed! Wockenfuss Candies is one of the oldest candy makers in Baltimore. We opened our doors in 1915 and have proudly served the people of Baltimore ever since. If you have any questions about our wide selection of chocolates, please contact Wockenfuss Candies by calling 1-800-296-4414 or email info@Wockenfusscandies.com. When you’re not savoring our sweets, stay satisfied by following us on Facebook, Twitter, and Pinterest!