Who said time machines have not been invented? I know kind of a weird way to start a post on a food blog. But really, your tongues are sort of like a time machine. One taste of something can instantaneously take us to a certain time of the year. A hot dog right off the grill makes us think of summer days. A glass of apple cider and a donut will take us right to all our memories of autumn.
And Christmas time. Well mint does the trick for me. This time of year you can visit any candy aisle in any store across this country and your going to find mint, particularly peppermint. You can find it all. Candy canes. Peppermint Bark. Holiday Mint M&M's. Tis the season for everything minty. Have you ever pondered why is that? Surely you have because your Google search probably brought you here!
How did Pepper(mint) Become Associated with Christmas?
So why is mint associated with the Christmas season? I searched all over online to try to find an exact answer, but I could not find one. So I thought thinking what is the first thing that people think of when they mint at Christmas time? The candy cane. This peppermint flavored treat was first made to be a part of the Christmas experience. It is believed that in 1670, a choirmaster at Cologne Cathedral handed this candy out to children at their living Nativity, to keep the kids occupied. The candy was shaped to look like a shepherd's staff. The peppermint flavor probably wasn't introduced for another 200 years. They became popular to hang on Christmas trees in the United States. So I think this is how mint became associated with Christmas. Starting with the candy cane, other mint flavored candies were introduced over the years until mint became of one of the flavors of Christmas.
Two other things that may have played a role in mint becoming a Christmas stable is that mint is a green leaf. Red and green are the colors of Christmas (figuring out why that is a whole another story). So anything green would sell well at Christmas. I also think that the flavor of mint leaves a coolness in your mouth. That goes along with how we associate Christmas with the cold and snow when in places that won't see a single snowflake this year.
I love mint flavored things, so I don't mind indulging at Christmas on all sorts of mint flavored goodies. Below you will find some of my favorite mint recipes.