One middle school in the East Coast really knows how to embrace the holiday spirit.
7th graders in a New Hampshire middle school have collected over 400 pounds of Halloween candy and shipped it to troops over sea. A five year tradition, students at Hampton Academy have been shipping packages to troops since 2011. A couple of years later, the students began combining their trick-or-treat candy and sending it Afghanistan.
The students became inspired to support the troops while taking a class on the Middle East. Inevitably, the class discussion gravitated towards the U.S. military involvement in Afghanistan. The first year, the kids collected pencils, crayons and clothing to a parent stationed in Kabul, Afghanistan, working with NATO forces. The supplies were used by Afghan women and their children
After that, the packages became an annual tradition. The teachers of Hampton Academy see the effort as a way to teach their students about helping others, no matter where they are.
In 2013, the children began piling their candy together and shipping it overseas. Every year the pile continues to get bigger. Last year, the 7th graders collected over 260 pounds of Halloween treats. This year, the pile increased by 140 pounds, which proved expensive to ship to the Middle East.
Every box filled with candy was about $15 dollars to shop overseas. In the end, the shipping bill turned out to be over $600, a hefty bill on a teacher’s salary.
The teachers turned to social media for help and the donations came flying in. One donor even donated $500.
It’s impressive how much candy one school alone can pile together. We’ll have to wait until next Christmas season to see how much larger the pile gets. For more candy news, make sure to keep up with our blog. Don’t forget to follow us on Facebook and Twitter
What piece of candy captures the Christmas spirit better than the candy cane?
This classic holiday treat is deeply rooted in tradition. The first recipe for the candy cane was published in 1844 but some sources say that the origin of the candy cane can be be traced back to a German monastery in 1640. You can read more about the mysterious origin of the candy cane here.
Sugar, water and corn syrup; that’s all it takes to make a candy cane. Originally, the candy was flavored with peppermint flavoring but, for some, peppermint has become passé. Recently, more and more flavors of the Christmas treat have entered the market. What’s interesting is that some candy makers have opted for more exotic flavors.
Here are three peculiar candy cane flavors that the more daring might want to try this holiday season:
Dill Pickle Flavored Candy Canes. I’m not entirely sure how this idea came to fruition. The description online says that these are meant for those who don’t particularly enjoy sweets. “Christmas can be a difficult time for someone who isn’t that into sweets. If you’re the savory sort, you might prefer the dill tang of our Pickle Candy Canes.” Not only do the candy canes taste like pickles, they also come with festive green stripes.
Gravy Candy Canes! Some people genuinely prefer Thanksgiving to Christmas. Reminisce about that delicious turkey feast whilst taking in the Christmas spirit. Now, I’ve never tried these but I’m not sure peppermint candy canes have too much to worry about.
Wasabi Candy Canes. Let’s be honest. Who hasn’t heard someone complain that their candy canes aren’t spicy enough. Maybe you’re the family prankster and want to trick someone with the green-striped candy. Imagine how disappointed your little sister would be if, while reaching for a delicious pickle-flavored candy cane, she was greeted with a mouthful of horseradish instead.
It’s always fun to spice up boring holiday traditions. I’m sure any of these three flavors would be a hot topic of conversation.
As for me, I’ll stick to “original.” For more candy news, please keep up with our blog. Don’t forget to follow us on Facebook and Twitter. Christmas is coming up! If you need any last minute gifts don’t forget to check out our online store.
Gingerbread has withstood the test of time. Many believe that gingerbread was first baked in Europe at the turn of the 11th century. Crusaders returning from the Middle East brought back the custom of spicy ginger baked into bread. The ginger not only enhanced the taste but also helped preserve the bread.
Ginger bread as we know it today emerged from medieval baking practices but the act of shaping the bread into various forms can be traced back to Franconia, Germany. “Lebkuchen” a sweet, baked treat resembling modern gingerbread was invented by monks baking in monasteries. Records of Lebkuchen bakers in Nuremberg can be traced as far back as 1395. To this day, Nuremberg is the number one exporter of Lebkuchen in the world!
In the early 1600’s, Nuremberg was awarded the title of “gingerbread capital of the world” when guilds began commissioning master bakers to make complicated works of art with the bread. Medieval bakers would carve intricate designs into the hard bread.
Gingerbread baking was so prestigious in Europe that by the 17th century only expert bakers were allowed to bake it. The only two exceptions were Christmas and Easter, when everyone was allowed to bake gingerbread.
The tradition of decorating model houses made out of gingerbread came about much more recently. Gingerbread houses began to emerge in 19th century Germany. Many believe that the invention of the gingerbread house can be accredited to one of Grimm’s famous fairy tales. Can you guess which one?
In “Hansel and Gretel,” two children abandoned in the forest come across an edible house made of bread and candy. Little do they know that the house is inhabited by an evil witch that plans to fatten them up and eat them.
Today, gingerbread houses have shed their grim origin and have become a prominent symbol of the Christmas holidays.
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Thanksgiving is over, which means it’s time to start preparing for Christmas! Last week, we talked about the origin of the candy cane. This traditional holiday treat can be found all over the world, at this time. Yet, candy canes aren’t the only popular Christmas candy. Consider the following stocking-stuffers, next time you’re out holiday shopping.
This delicious chocolate confection is the perfect holiday treat. It generally consists of peppermint candy pieces embedded in white chocolate, on top of a dark chocolate bark.
2. Peanut Brittle
Peanut Brittle is a confection that consists of hard sugar candy pieces filled with peanuts. There are many variations of this delicious confectionary around the world. You can find brittle year-round, but it surges in popularity during the holidays.
Toffee is made by caramelizing sugar along with butter and sometimes flour. The consistency of the candy can range from soft and chewy to hard and brittle. In the US, “English toffee” is a particularly popular variant. English toffee is very buttery and is often made with almonds.
These treats, store-bought or home-made, are bound to brighten anyone’s Christmas. If you don’t want to go through the trouble of making them yourself, make sure to check out our online store.
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The holiday season is a busy time for us, here at Quality Candy. No candy embodies the Christmas spirit more than the candy cane.
King Leo first introduced our famous peppermint sticks back in 1901 but do you know the origin of this iconic holiday treat? Odds are you most likely don’t, as the invention of the candy cane is a much debated topic.
A lack of historical evidence makes it difficult to pinpoint the exact origin. There have been many claims of the invention of the candy cane with the oldest dating back to 1670. According to folklore, the candy cane can be traced back to 17th century Germany. The choirmaster at the Cologne Cathedral sought to keep the choir children quiet during the Christmas Eve nativity scene.
The choirmaster asked a local candy maker to make sweet sticks to keep the children entertained during the nativity scene. To justify giving the children candy during the religious services, the choirmaster asked the candy maker to make a hook at the end of each stick, symbolizing the canes of the shepherds that visited infant Jesus.
Others claim that the candy cane was a much more recent invention and can be traced back to 20th century Indiana. According to the myth, a candy maker wanted to create a Christmas candy that would symbolize the life and death of Jesus Christ.
The white of the candy cane symbolized sinlessness. The red represented the scourging Jesus received by which Christians believe they are healed.
The crook at the end of the stick was meant to represent the letter “J,” the beginning letter of Jesus’s name.
Over time, the candy cane has shed its religious symbolism and has become a treat that both adults and kids enjoy. 1.7 billion candy canes are produced every single year and can be found all over the world during the holiday season.
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