I hope everyone who celebrates had a wonderful Christmas yesterday! Now today is one of the high holy days for couponers and dealhounds…it’s Christmas Clearance Day! LOL the day after a big holiday is always when the holiday decorations and candy go on sale, so it’s the perfect time to stock up on Christmas cards or ornaments for next year…or gorge yourself on 50% off Christmas candy! (As if we didn’t eat enough yesterday…) So it makes sense that the day after Christmas is National Candy Cane Day. Not only can you enjoy these curved peppermint candy sticks today…but you can also get them for cheap! Score!
While lots of candies and chocolates are sold at Christmas, candy canes are legitimately a Christmas candy. The popular origin story of candy canes is that a German choirmaster in the 17th century gave red-striped candy sticks to his choir boys so that they would stay quiet during worship services. He justified giving the candy by bending them into hooks, reminiscent of the shepherd’s crook, and making the alternating red and white stripes represent the sacrifice and purity of Jesus. We don’t take candy canes that literally now, but it’s good to know, so next year if you attend midnight mass, you can take in your candy cane and it’s totally church-acceptable 😛
Nowadays though candy canes can come in any color and flavor, in both gourmet and mass-produced brands: Starburst and Spree make flavored candy canes for the season that come in wild neon colors that represent their fruity, sour flavors. And gourmet candy shops are on overdrive making candy canes for the season, usually out of existing flavors in their arsenal. Take Papabubble, for instance: the international gourmet candy chain may be known for their outrageously large and wacky lollipops, but come the winter time they channel their candy-making instincts towards candy canes as well. I’d take it to far as to say they’re the premiere gourmet candy cane maker in New York City this year! (And hey, if you buy them today, maybe they’ll be cheaper than the usually pricey store!) Unlike mass-produced candy canes, Papabubble makes gigantic canes in red and white stripes, but the stripes aren’t just painted on, like the ones you get in the grocery store: Papabubble stretches and molds their candy by hand, so the thick red and white stripes (and the peppermint flavor) stays throughout the cane. There’s real peppermint oil in the cane, too, so that flavor you’re getting is all natural. And for those who enjoy a little variety in their cane, Papabubble also makes their candy canes in chocolate-mint and apple cinnamon–interesting, yet still festive, flavors that will have you stretching out the holidays way past the new year!
380 Broome St (between Mott St & Mulberry St)
“Remember those pallid sourballs petrifying in the dish on your grandmother’s coffee table? They are still there, even if your grandmother isn’t. The sweets at Papabubble, on the other hand, may well have been confected today—you can witness a batch of hard candy being made every couple of hours in the out-front kitchen that is also a stage. There’s something transfixing about watching molten sugar being turned into beautiful goo, and then kneaded and pulled into colorful canes that a Venetian glassblower would be proud to claim.”–New Yorker
“Also a bit dubious was the Papbubble price tag: $8 for one five-ounce candy cane. Granted, it’s handmade in a well-appointed little boutique instead of spit out by a machine in some nameless factory, but eight bucks still seems a bit steep for what is, basically, a hardened mass of sugar and artificial flavors. Those artificial flavors did taste like peppermint, though for all of the sugar and glucose involved, the flavor was almost not sweet enough. The cane had a dryer taste than its CVS counterpart; it didn’t linger, but instead shot straight into the nasal cavity, leaving only a mentholated sensation in its wake. One taster noted that the flavor “verges on the medicinal, in a Jagermeister sort of way.” The best part was the candy cane’s appearance — when broken into pieces, it revealed a beautifully striated interior and amber core.”–The Village Voice
““Regular candy canes are pretty mild,” says Chris Grassi, co-owner of the newly opened candy shop. “Ours have better flavor because we use really excellent peppermint oil.” The canes, all of which are made right under customers’ happy noses, come in a variety of tastes, like chocolate-filled peppermint, passion fruit, apple cinnamon and fig.”–Time Out New York
Some reviews from Yelp.com:
“I’m not particularly interested in candy, but I love papabubble because it is part candy store, part art gallery, part cooking demonstration. Here, house-made hard candies are spun from molten sugar before your eyes. There are sour candies, licorice-flavored candies, ginger candies, and fruit-flavored candies. Some have tiny colored designs that cleverly reveal their fruit flavor, some have miniscule writing. The finished product is sold by the jar, or by the sealed bag (they make great gifts, stocking stuffers, or souvenirs). The offerings change with the season — right now you can get huge, chunky candy canes as well as little yellow and blue hannukah suckers.”–Pamela S.
Make sure you check out the updated NYC Food Holidays Map to find this most recent holiday!