Thursday, January 3, 2013

A peppermint pig!

While we were away over New Years we were able to find a store with Peppermint Pigs™ for sale! If you're not from northern New York, you may not know the tradition of the pig.

From Saratoga Sweets:
In early Decembers long since past, while the quaint Victorian village of Saratoga Springs slept quietly through a chilled and moonlit eve, legend suggests that a bit of magic was in the making.
The first dusting of winter's snow gathered in darkened downtown doorways and twirled by night's wind seemed to dance and whirl like sugarplum fairies. Behind the oaken doors of gingerbread-sized candy shops that dotted Saratoga, tireless old candy makers, bathed in amber glow of crackling hearth and bubbling candy pots, labored on into the night creating... and continuing a holiday tradition known to all as the Peppermint Pig™

This Peppermint Pig™ as aptly it was named, was cast of hard candy similar in fashion to candy cane and festive pink in colour. And while the pig is honored in Victorian holiday tradition as a symbol of good health, happiness and prosperity, these special Peppermint Pigs,™ unique to Saratoga Springs, New York, came to represent much more. They proudly stood for and old-fashioned Yuletide itself-a wonderful time when red-cheeked children laughed and rode old wooden sleds over fresh snow, when church bells pealed and fond recollections were shared by family and friends. After the holiday dinner, the Pig was passed amongst those gathered, each in turn giving the pouch a firm tap and sharing a tale of the past year's good fortune. The delicious broken peppermint and warm memories were enjoyed by all in hopes of prosperity for the coming year.
The various candy makers who crafted the pigs have long since passed on, their businesses fading away. Now, Saratoga Sweets is the only producer of the true Peppermint Pig™ and finding them outside of northern NY can be tricky. The pig was a tradition that we did in my house for several years when I was growing up. We'd sit around the table and smash the pig, then a container of sweet pink pieces would sit on the counter, available for a taste any time.

It was exciting to find a pig down here in North Carolina, simply for the novelty of it, but sitting around with my family last night, each taking a turn whacking the pig, took me right back to my own childhood. Right down to the, "Whoa, whoa, whoa! Everybody else back up!" when the kids crowded around and someone nearly took a hammer swing to the face. Thankfully it's only a small hammer that comes with the pig, and in the end no one was hit. Then, the taste! That sweet, sharp, unmistakable taste of a Peppermint Pig™. Mmmm, the memories. I highly suggest picking one up for your next holiday season. If you're not local to NY or cannot find one in a specialty shop near you, they are available to order online.

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1 comment:

  1. I love the Peppermint Pig! Your mom sent them to us several times. The little velvet bag, the tiny hammer, and the delicious pink much fun!