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 Although the video below shows the candy-making process by hand, I suspect it is a little outdated as I believe the process is now fully mechanized.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?
"Chocolate is health food for the soul." ~ Miranda Gray