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Tuesday, November 29, 2011

Buy Local for the Holidays: Piedmont Candy Company

Growing up, it wasn't Christmas until my sweet old neighbor, Paul, wearing his dress denim overalls with a blazer and fedora, walked over and placed a bag of sweet potatoes and two boxes of old-fashioned Red Bird Candy on our frost-covered car: one box of peppermint sticks and one box of horehound. I love the old-fashioned packaging.

Horehound candy sticks and "slugs" as they were called, are brown, matte, rugged looking sticks with distinctive, rich, and full-flavored candies that soothe a sore throat and prevent dry mouth. The sticks also come in nostalgic flavors like sassafras, cinnamon, clove, lemon, wintergreen and cream penny.

Founded in 1890 and based in Lexington, NC. Piedmont Candy Company uses real sugar (not high fructose corn syrup) to make their famous soft peppermint sticks and "puffs". They could make their candy cheaper using the high fructose stuff, or by sending their operation overseas, so I truly appreciate their determination to keep it real and keep it local.

These soft peppermint sticks are great on their own, or used as stirrers and "straws" for coffee, hot chocolate and poked into oranges and lemons. I'm imagining them as the sticks in some trendy cake pops and homemade marshmallows.

Red Velvet Whoopie Pies with Red Bird Peppermint filling
photo by Home is Where the Boat Is
The candies are available at The Candy Factory website, and the peppermint puffs are widely available at Walgreens, CVS, Dollar Tree and Dollar General. Click here for the complete list.

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