My Gripe with Candy Canes

Anneliese Fox
2 min readJan 7, 2023
Image of a flower frog filled with candy canes.
This year’s Candy Canes. Can I eat them or not? Photo by author.

I love seasonal candy: Candy Corn in the fall, followed by Candy Canes for Christmas, Conversation Hearts (the original Necco kind, please), Peeps. If you’ve suggestions for the rest of the year, please share. It’s a long time between Peeps and Candy Corn.

I generally use the candy as part of my seasonal decoration. I don’t eat it until the season is winding down. So I am just now ready to start enjoying that box of Candy Canes.

I am beginning to wonder, though, manufacturers intend Candy Canes to actually be eaten.

Now I know, for example (read it somewhere) that Peeps are made year round in order to have enough for everyone who wants them at Easter. Their packaging is an absolute marvel. Despite looking pretty flimsy, it will keep a Peep fresh for an unaccountably long time. I poke holes in the packages of Peeps that I receive for Easter so that I can consider eating them by July. Call me weird, but I don’t much care for fresh Peeps, but I love the stale ones. The closer they are to being able to snap apart, the better they are. Sometimes I’ve waited over a year before enjoying them.

So I expect that the season for making Candy Canes is probably long also. (I’m not that into eating stale Candy Canes. Once the peppermint oil evaporates, there isn’t much to enjoy.) I expect that having to make candy well in advance of Christmas necessitates good packaging.

However.

What I found this year, breaking into my first Candy Cane of the season, was that I couldn’t get it out of its packaging. Now, the ability to get the Candy Cane out of its wrapper has gotten progressively more difficult over the years, but once you got it started, you could generally work it out. This year, the plastic wrapper was so tight and the plastic so tough, I could not tear it with my hands. Once opened (with a scissors), the best I could do was to peel back the wrapper a tiny bit. In the end, I had to use a mat knife to work my way down the wrapper. I had to slit it the entire way. Just cutting a few millimeters would not allow the plastic to tear. And yes, I did cut myself during the operation.

So when did Candy Canes, despite being made of sugar, become a decorative only item? Why didn’t I get the memo? If you do surgically remove the wrapper, are the contents safe to consume? Or should I just put them back into their box and save them to put on next year’s Christmas tree?

Should I expect the same of Peeps? Is it in the works to individually wrap Conversation Hearts and Candy Corn?

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Anneliese Fox

Writer of speculative fiction, programmer, artist in wood and clay, owner of Fox Computer Systems. My almost weekly blog follows what interests me at the moment