STITCH LINES...... Ramblings on life as a quilter, stitcher, traveler, gardener and lover of books, cats and fine chocolate....

Thursday, December 4, 2014

It's Chicken Bone Time!

My friend Sandi Mac posted this video this morning on Facebook, and since it's such an iconic New Brunswick "thing" I thought I should share it with you. To my readers who no longer live in the Maritimes, I'm sure this will bring the taste to mind, as it's a memory no Maritimer will ever forget. For the rest of you, this is a New Brunswick candy, popular especially at Christmas. It is a cinnamon flavoured hard candy with a thick thread of dark chocolate through the middle. Mmmmmm good! We call them "Chicken Bones". They are made by Ganong Brothers, a New Brunswick institution since 1873.
Chicken Bones™ were "invented" by Ganong candy-maker Frank Sparhawk in 1885. They are still one of Ganongs most popular products today, and in fact, many Maritimers feel it's just not Christmas without chicken bones! Although the video below shows the candy-making process by hand, I suspect it is a little outdated as I believe the process is now fully mechanized. Regardless, it is still interesting to watch as they were made this way for many years (and they still taste just as good, no matter how they are made!!)
Once a year, Ganongs, located in St. Stephen N.B. which borders Maine, is the center of
Chocolate Fest, a week long festival held the first week of August. St. Stephen, known as Canada's Chocolate Town, is alive with many chocolate-related events, the week is "choc-full" you might say. (Sorry, couldn't resist the pun!) Chocolate-themed luncheons and dinners, contests, a parade, lots of fun! We took our children when they were young, and haven't been since- I think it's time for a return. (Note to self- mark it on 2015 calendar...) What I remember best is the factory tour, (our Guide was Nick Ganong, then a University student, now VP of Sales and Business Development) where we got many samples of Ganong products, but by far the best was the warm chicken bones right off the conveyor belt. Chicken bones are good at any time, but they are BEST warm and fresh... mmmmm.... I don't think factory tours are given anymore, so I'm glad we did take advantage then.

You might be interested to know that the world's first chocolate bar was invented by Ganongs - the very first chocolate bar was called Pal-O-Mine and it is still produced today. Ganongs also introduced the heart-shaped candy box so popular at Valentine's, and lollipops. Ganongs is probably best known for their hand-dipped chocolates; an experienced employee could dip up to 12,00 chocolates per day, each with its own distinctive identifying swirl on top!! Today the Ganong company is the only family-owned large candy company in Canada, and it still maintains a factory (at 1 Chocolate Drive!) and company headquarters in St. Stephen N.B.
That's my sweet post for today.. gotta go, I'm craving some chocolate. Think I might have to go find those chicken bones.... What's your favourite Christmas candy?

Peace,
Linda

"Chocolate is health food for the soul." ~ Miranda Gray

10 comments:

Andrea R said...

These are my all time favorite!

canuckquilter said...

Chicken bones! When I was little and we lived in Ottawa, the parcel of barley toys candy and chicken bones that arrived from my mom's family in NB signaled the start of the Holiday season. I remember cutting my tongue on the sharp edges while sucking on the cinnamon outside and suddenly breaking through to the chocolate inside. I always went back for more anyway :) Don't have any down here in Iowa...but thanks for jogging my memories!

Vee said...

I remember them well! My grandmother and also my mother always had them at Christmastime. I must say that they were not among my favorites...I prefer the pink mints. That was an interesting video...a lot of intensive labor involved.

Judith @ Lavender Cottage said...

I've had chicken bones before but I'm not keen on cinnamon candies.
My favourite....chocolate! At this time of year Purdy's brings out their delectable Hedgehogs and I buy a small box all for me!

Jennifer said...

How interesting is that! Several years ago we watched a documentary about chocolate, and Ganon Bros were featured - it warmed this chocoholic's soul. Chicken bones were mentioned too!

Pamela Gordon said...

I had one tonight! LOL I love chicken bones. I did a post about them last year I think. And I just watched that video on Facebook last night and promptly ate 3 of them! I toured the factory about 15 years ago and you're right...there's nothing like the chicken bones right out of the belt! So melt-in-your-mouth delicious. :)

Gwen Buchanan said...

Love that video.. looks like magic doesn't it.. a real art.

Anonymous said...

Yes, that so takes me back! We always had five pound boxes of Ganongs chocolates at Christmas as well as a bag of Chicken Bones. My favourite chocolate was the Nougatine. When I moved to BC I started buying Purdys chocolates and they use to make a Nougatine. Sadly now no one is making them anymore. My mother often sends me Chicken Bones in the Christmas parcel. I'll have to wait and see........ Cynthia

Lee said...

Yum. They were always part of the Christmas parcel from my parents when we lived in Ontario. An important piece of NB for the season.

Lindah said...

Chicken bones! (chuckle) I remember a similar Christmas candy from childhood down here in the USA. These candies came in an assortment of flavors. I always dug out the pale taffy colored ones with the peanut butter filling. :-) Haven't seen any in the stores for a few years.

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...