Candy canes have been around for hundreds of years, but they haven't always had that easily identifiable hooked shape. They also weren't red at all.

They used to be straight, without the hook at the top, and all white in color. When Christmas trees came into vogue in Europe in late 1600s, people needed things to decorate their trees with. A choirmaster in Germany at the Cologne cathedral put the first hooks in the canes to make them appear more like shepherd’s staffs (and perhaps easier to hang from trees). It soon became tradition to give candy canes out to children during the holiday season. No one is sure exactly when the red stripes were added to the mix, but the new design first appeared around 1900.

These days, you can find candy canes in all kinds of wild colors and even different flavors. The decorative Christmas candy cane has come a long way over the years.

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