Saturday, November 25, 2006

Spangler Candy Canes

People complain that Christmas comes earlier and earlier each year in the retail world. The decorations are out before Halloween in some stores. It’s kind of funny, I was watching the Charlie Brown Thanksgiving special and he was complaining about the same thing ... which leads me to believe that it’s been going on for a very long time. The funny part of that is that in some factories, it’s always Christmas.

imageCandy Canes are big business, especially for Spangler, which has two factories. Their primary facility is in Bryan, Ohio but they have another factory in Juarez, Mexico as well. The Bryan factory has been operating in three shifts since May just to keep up with demand, churning out 18 tractor trailer loads each day. (Their website says they make 25 million candy canes each year.)

Spangler makes more than just the plain old six inch shrink wrapped cane. They have a huge selection of different shapes and sizes, in more than the traditional red & white peppermint flavor. They make the candy canes for Jelly Belly, Disney and DumDum in all sorts of kooky flavors. I’m a bit of a traditionalist and got a hold of a pretty good cross section of their offerings.

Spangler always packages their canes well, so I rarely get a broken set. The flavor is a mild and pleasant peppermint. Not blastingly strong like an Altoid, more like a starlight mint, but less “foamy” feeling on the tongue.

Right now I’m pretty keen on the Candy Cane Wreaths. They’re a hoop of candy cane (but not joined at the top) around 4” across that have a gift tag already on them, in case you want to use them for decorating packages or gift bags. They’re easy to put on a Christmas tree, and I’m thinking about using them as napkin rings for the dinner table this year.

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What’s especially cool about them is that all pieces are curved. I love the curve of a candy cane, how I can break off that piece and place it behind my front teeth and suck on it. Well, this is all curve!

I think if I my favorite size though is the tiny one. I know they aren’t wrapped quite as pretty (they’re in a cello pouch that doesn’t allow for hooking the cane on anything) but they’re easy to eat. I just snap it in half at the middle of the straight part of the cane and put the whole thing in my mouth. No muss, no fuss.

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The last kind they make is the super-large pole.

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I remember getting one of these when I was a little kid. I went with some neighbors to a parade where Santa rode in a red fire truck and gave these out. As a kid it was a huge amount of candy. A stupid, messy amount of candy. After a while it got very sticky and may have had cat hair on it or lint. So I would keep rinsing it off in the sink, and it would get clean, of course, but smaller and smaller. I seriously doubt I finished it.

As part of my new recipes starting in the New Year, I’ll have some fun tips for what to do with leftover candy canes.

More reading: Toledo Blade article with excellent photos from the factory + Spangler’s Candy Cane Tour on their website.

POSTED BY Cybele AT 9:52 am Tracker Pixel for Entry     CandyReviewChristmasHard Candy & LollipopsMints8-TastyUnited States

Comments
  1. I’ve never been a big fan of candy canes, they’re always really sticky and the flavour isn’t that great in my opinion.

    Comment by Terry on 11/25/06 at 12:31 pm #
  2. I don’t see anything on their site about the wreaths, are they available only in stores?

    Comment by ardentdelerium on 11/25/06 at 2:51 pm #
  3. One of the online comics sites runs old Peanuts comics. The one that showed up a week or two before Halloween this year was complaining about Christmas decorations - and it was originally published in 1959! So yeah, I think it’s been going on awhile.

    Candy canes - eh. I don’t like peppermint flavor by itself that much, but my two oldest boys have recently discovered the fun of eating candy canes while dipping them in hot chocolate. Gotta get rid of last year’s leftovers before December comes around!

    Comment by Tricia on 11/26/06 at 7:58 am #
  4. One thing that I think is funny about candy canes is that some people store them with Christmas decorations and use the same ones for years with no visible differences.  There’s a restaurant here that has them on a tree in a very humid place that causes them to turn to paste in the wrapper, makes the colors bleed, and the even get deformed in shape from being soft and flowy.  Gross.

    If your mom is like mine, she found the linty and cat-hair covered cane and threw it away while you were at school.  Mine was berry flavored and rainbow colored, and it’s the only time I’ve ever started in on an impossible project like that or an all-day sucker.

    Speaking of which, have you ever heard or seen an all-day sucker hit a concrete or ceramic tile floor?  It’s breathtaking how explosively it scatters tiny bits.  Jordan Almonds also shatter, witnessed first-hand when I worked at the movie theater.

    Comment by Dave on 11/26/06 at 8:26 am #
  5. I don’t really like the candy canes- probably due to too many as a kid. I just think their are over rated- I mean what about all the chocolate Sanatas!
    Here is one of my manychristmas buying stashes-and some other things http://candy-kid.blogspot.com/2006/11/off-to-paris.html#links

    Comment by Heather on 11/26/06 at 9:07 am #
  6. I LOVE candy canes but only peppermint. I can’t stand all those weird, fruity flavors that my kids like. Has to be peppermint. I want a wreath!

    Comment by jaynie on 11/26/06 at 9:18 pm #
  7. I’m not a huge fan of mint (unless it’s paired with chocolate), but I always have to have one candy cane a year around Christmas.  And that one is just enough peppermint for me for the rest of the year.  I do like candy canes better than the starlight mints though. They taste milder to me or something.

    Comment by g on 11/27/06 at 4:18 am #
  8. Cybele's avatar

    ardentdelerium - I got all of these from CandyWarehouse.com - they’re up on the site there for sale.

    http://www.candywarehouse.com/wreaths.html

    I’ve also seen them solo at Cost Plus World Market for 99 cents each.

    I saw another brand of them for sale at Walgreen’s yesterday, they were 99 cents each as well, but they weren’t shrink wrapped, so they wouldn’t be as useful for decorating.

    Comment by Cybele on 11/27/06 at 7:20 am #
  9. They’re on Spangler’s sister site, Candy Max. The shopping carts for spangler.com & candymax.com are linked so items in both cart can be paid for as the same order.

    Here’s Candy Max’s Christmas page:

    http://www.candymax.com/ProdMat.asp?CatCd=CMAS&CTITLE=Candy Canes and more&CGraphic=CMASHdr.jpg&CTHDR=Christmas Candy&CSel=C

    Comment by desertwind on 11/27/06 at 9:53 am #
  10. You should head out to Ontario sometime this season and watch candy canes being made right before your eyes.  From the AAA site:
    Candy Stripers
    Live large this holiday season with a six-foot candy cane from Logan’s Candies in Ontario. Or watch the traditional-size confections being made on weekday evenings in December. Call for tour information, or drop by at 5:30, 7:00, or 8:30 p.m. during Family Week, December 16?23. Logan’s Candies, 125 W. B Street, Ontario; (909) 984-5410.

    We went a couple of years ago and it was really fun and freshly made canes are so tasty.

    Comment by Jocelyn Vilter on 11/30/06 at 7:57 am #
  11. just a word of thanks to all the people that make the holiday memorable- and one of the first memories of many peple are candy and especially candy canes. Congratulations on 100 years in business, may you have a sweet tooth for another 100 years - all the best to the people that make the best candy

    Comment by henry lenahan on 12/08/06 at 10:33 am #
  12. does anyone know where sells carnival skittles AND RETRO STARBURST IN OH?

    Comment by molly mzik on 6/12/07 at 9:11 am #
  13. Candy canes… best invention ever. I always break off the curve and just eat the straight part, and give the curve to whoever’s around at the moment. Then I suck it down into a tiny, sharp, point that pokes my tongue and cause myself a fair amount of pain before biting it off.

    Comment by Jeni on 12/18/08 at 1:35 pm #
  14. Love your comment Jeni.

    Comment by Blair on 4/20/09 at 4:26 am #
  15. Where can I get a candy cane made here in the USA.  I have been looking everywhere for some.  Can you help me find some?  All I have found are from Mexico or China and I refuse to buy them…..

    Comment by Ann on 12/13/10 at 11:19 pm #
  16. Where can I find wintergreen candy canes?

    Comment by Bernice fox on 12/08/11 at 11:29 am #

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