Thursday, December 13, 2012

The Story of the Peppermint Pig

I live in an area rich with historical significance. The story of the Peppermint Pig is one of those.

"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 color. 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, NY came to represent much more. They proudly stood for an 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.

 As holiday seasons passed and time marched further into a new century, the tradition of the "Peppermint Pig™ continued on in popularity...until Father Time could wait no longer. One by one the candy makers of Saratoga Springs passed onto their reward and the "Peppermint Pigs™ became but a wonderful memory."  A Saratoga company called Saratoga Sweets revived the Peppermint Pig in 1988 after being approached by the local historical society.  With borrowed molds Saratoga Sweets made 100 pigs just in time for Christmas Eve Day.

The Peppermint Pig™ is sold all over the nation, Saratoga County is its hometown, and to this day they are made nowhere else!  A local shop called the Crafter's Gallery in Saratoga Springs is the only local shop authorized to carry all styles of Peppermint Pigs.

Such a fun story!!