logan's candies has been around since 1933, and the current owner bought it when he was only 19 years old. it's a family business, with his wife and two daughters present for the candy making demo he was giving us. we started our tour outside, crowded around the big glass window watching him get started on a batch of candy that would eventually turn into 400 candy canes.
first, the hot sugar syrup was poured out onto a marble slab to be scraped and flipped and kneaded till it was time to add the peppermint flavoring.
there was even a monitor mounted in the next window for those who might not have been lucky enough to get a good view from the front.
he kept working that candy till it was just how he wanted it to be.
and then he placed it on the large hook for the pulling process. he pulled and pulled and pulled until it had lightened so much that it turned white.
inside the shop was, as you can imagine, sugar heaven.
then he took pieces of the red candy and created what looked like a giant flag (it also kind of looked like bacon) to form the shop's signature 5-stripe pattern.
he draped it over the giant breath mint and topped it with a slab of red candy for the solid red stripe.
keeping it under the heater, he pulled a chunk out from one end and then did a little air guitar with it while the girls giggled.
that chunk got sliced off and stuffed into the center of the candy before he began to roll the end into a long, thin rope. his daughter sliced it off, placed it into a candy press and quickly pulled it out and flung it down onto the counter while we watched the candy shatter into a hundred perfect little pieces. they put the candy on plates and passed them around for everyone to try.
meanwhile, they were continuing to roll, slice, and bend the candy into perfect 6-inch canes.
then it was time for the girls to line up and receive their own piece of candy rope to bend and twist however they wanted to. we had seen various colors and shapes for holidays - shamrocks, hearts, stars of david, eggs. you name it, they could make a candy for it. and there were different flavors, too - cinnamon, watermelon, lemonade, root beer, butterscotch. knowing the bean, i had a good idea of what shape she would bend her candy into.
the old lady and mama wan were happy to play with some candy too.
well, and of course...
disneyland does something like this during the holidays. it's insanely popular, though, with the canes only made on certain days and in limited quantities. people will crowd around the window to watch the process and cast members have to hand out wristbands to those in line who want to fork over $13 for each candy cane. here, the canes are only $1.55, no wristband required.
and now i totally know where i'm going to get our candy canes this year. mmmm, so good.