A Sweet Guide to Yuletide – A History of Christmas candy, Part IV

The Odd

What trip down memory lane would be complete without a detour through the avenue of the odd and curious? In Saratoga Springs, New York, residents with a sweet tooth have their very own longstanding Christmas candy tradition involving a hammer, a sack and a hot pink pig. ThePEPPERMINT PIG dates back to 19th century homesteads where all barn animals had a regular role in the farm’s output. Well, all animals except the pig. Because the hog served no daily purpose, a farmer who had one or two lazing about his property was considered wealthy. From this symbol of prosperity the Peppermint Pig was created

Peep Christmas

Not a peep out of you or Santa’s not coming!

and lives on today as a 1-pound candy hog that’s placed in a sack and passed around the Christmas table. Each dinner guest has a chance to whack the pig with a small mallet. A little nibble of the peppermint swine is said to ensure good luck in the coming year.

Though hundreds of thousands of MARSHMALLOW PEEPS fans might argue there’s nothing odd about these squishable chicks and bunnies, there is something unusual about how people put their Peeps to use. Online, dozens of websites faithfully document alternative uses for these marshmallow-based favorites (think badminton birdie and pizza topping). Simple snowmen and tree-shaped Peeps first appeared in the 1960s, but this year Candy Cane Flavored Dipped Marshmallow Chicks will hit the shelves. Peep’s official website for kids is pretty impressive, but you may prefer an extremely unofficial adult website which is devoted to the creative combination of what else—the marshmallow and the cocktail.

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