Pigs pigs everywhere! For the first time ever, my Christmas season was marked with candy pigs, yet of completely different traditions. This got me thinking that there are surely other symbols and goods that have potential to become time-honored traditions.
First, consider the Marzipan pig. I’ve eaten plenty of German sweets but somehow I was surprised when my friend handed me a traditional Christmas marzipan pig from Niederegger, a two-centuries old marzipan manufacturer that makes other “lucky charm” candies in various shapes.
Then there’s The Peppermint Pig – “You don’t know about the peppermint pig?” my party hostess asked, handing me a ham-colored, shrinkwrapped hard candy pig from a felt bag along with a little silver hammer.The tradition is to smash it, pass around the plate, and eat a piece for good luck.This pig hails from a Victorian tradition.
Saratoga.com tells how “in the 1880’s, Jim Menges produced the first Peppermint Pig….Over time the pig was lost, but the memories of it were not forgotten. It was not until 1986 that the pig reemerged and the seasonal ritual began again.” Saratoga Sweets tells how the pig was reborn: “Using borrowed candy molds and the original recipe, about 100 Peppermint Pigs™ were made just in time for sale that Christmas Eve Day. We were greeted that snowy morning by a crowd of Saratogians of all ages gleefully waiting to get their first Peppermint Pig™ in over 50 years.”Now packaged with a little metal hammer to smash the pig, the candy is much more than a sweet but a symbolic tradition…of which they sell 120,000 each year.
See more about the Peppermint Pig phenomenon and share your ideas: What food tradition is waiting to happen? Better yet, start it then let me know!