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December 5, 2009

Logan's Candies Candy Cane-making Tour

I joined in a Meetup event last night that made my holiday season! We toured Logan's Candies in Ontario. They gave a candy making demonstration teaching their process for candy canes! In addition to hand-crafting exquisite confections, they also stock old-time treats you may not have seen in years. Their shop is a true feast for the eyes as well as the belly!

The tour began outdoors looking through the window, with our teenaged guide narrating as owner Jerry demonstrated the candy cane process. Both were personable with funny bits worked into the demo.

The corn syrup base is heated to a temperature of 340 degrees in a copper kettle. One batch will make about 400 standard-sized canes that are 10-12 inches long.

The golden syrupy mass is kneaded and split into two parts.

Dye is kneaded into the smaller section; Jerry was filling a custom order during our demo, making blue and white canes. The blue dye looked black until it was stretched.

Flavoring is added only to the larger, white section. The colored stripes of Logan's canes are always unflavored, with all the flavoring in the white stripes only.

The colored portion is set aside near a gas heating element that keeps it warm and soft, preventing hardening.

The flavored portion is then stretched and kneaded using a meat hook on the wall to clarify the caramel-colored corn syrup to a crystal whiteness. The muscle required is amazing! And you can tell from my lack of focus that this happened quickly too.

Logan's makes all their canes with one wide colored stripe and five thin colored stripes. Here's one small stripe held up for all to see, with several laid out behind Jerry.

All five small stripes placed onto the large flavored white block.

Rolling the big chunk, twisting the pretty ribbon.

Pulling and preparing to cut off a piece, to be handed to the roller standing next to Jerry. Jerry's wife was the final step in the assembly line, bending the canes into a hook or heart-shape.

The tasting samples, pressed by machine.

Jars upon jars of pretty ribbon candy: I see peppermint, cinnamon, cherry, green apple, watermelon, pink lemonade, root beer, spearmint, and three more flavors on hand!

the touring group from Meetup
If you go:
Logan's Candies
125 W. "B" Street
Ontario, CA 91762
(909) 984-5410

Have you ever toured a candy factory? Are there any other seasonal events that set the tone for you? Please leave a note on the blog with your comments.

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