The uncommon craft of candy canes

December 20, 2012 2:25:17 PM PST
We are saluting a minty, sugary sign of the holidays! The candy cane! They've been handcrafting each and every one for 7 decades at one south Jersey sweet shop. They will hand make roughly 40,000 at Giambri's in Clementon this Christmas. We had a chance to help the elves hard at work keeping up a custom that's become a rare confectionary art.

"We start with traditional peppermint, the classic," says owner Dave Giambri. "But wintergreen is the top seller on our website. Then we get into our fancy ones like pomegranate."

At any given time, the Giambris are making about 10 different distinct flavors. The winner this year in an online contest? The cinnamon roll! You can check out all their offerings online at

Right now it's a candy cane candyland at their shop in Clementon. Four generations of Giambris have been at the head of the throne of this sugary sweet kingdom for seventy years.

"We use the same original equipment my great uncle used back in 1942," Dave says. "He started the business in South Philadelphia."

This time of year Dave, his children, and his brother Matt, are busy hand crafting more than 40,000 canes.

"We do ours by hand, we use the natural, pure flavoring," he says.

It starts with a copper cauldron of boiling sugar, water and corn syrup. They then pour this onto a cooling table where it hardens into a sheet of glass-like sugary goodness. Add color and then the candy cane choreography begins!

You have to move fast so it doesn't stick or harden before you are ready for them to take shape!

After a quick pull on the pulling machine and a pinch of pure flavoring, the colors get stacked up and ready to twist!

But these candy architects say the art is dying one.

"If you see how shiny it is, you know that it's something you don't get from a machine," Dave says.

A hook helps quickly creates the various shapes and then it's time to wrap or just enjoy!

You can check out:
26 Brand Avenue Clementon, NJ 08021
Phone: (856) 783-1099

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