A plaque remaining from the Big Apple Night Club at West 135th Street and Seventh Avenue in Harlem.

Above, a 1934 plaque from the Big Apple Night Club at West 135th Street and Seventh Avenue in Harlem. Discarded as trash in 2006.

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Entry from September 30, 2018
Saratoga: Peppermint Pig

Saratogo, New York, confectioner Mike Fitzgerald re-introduced the Christmas tradition of the “Peppermint Pig” since the 1990s. Supposedly, peppermint pigs first became a Saratoga Christmas tradition in the 1880s. A parent would usually crack the pig with a hammer, and everyone would then eat the candy pieces—perhaps bringing good luck.

There are citations for “candy pigs” and “marzipan pigs” since at least the 1880s. The “marzipan pig” has long been made by German and Scandinavian confectioners, so there is no reason to assume that the tradition began in Saratoga. However, Saratoga’s “Peppermint Pig” has achieved cult status, regardless of Saratoga or non-Saratoga origins.


Wikipedia: Marzipan pig
The marzipan pig is a traditional German and Scandinavian confectionery consisting of marzipan shaped as a pig.

During Jul in Norway, a tradition is to eat a rice porridge known as risgrøt; a single almond is hidden in the porridge. Whoever finds the almond receives a marzipan pig as a prize. The same tradition exists for Christmas Eve in Denmark, but with risalamande.

In Germany, marzipan pigs are given at New Year’s for good luck (Glücksschwein).

Saratoga Candy Co.
The Famous Peppermint Pig™ Carried By Saratoga Candy Co.!
(...)
This “Peppermint Pig™ as aptly it was named, was cast of hard candy similar in fashion to candy cane and festive pink in colour. 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, New York, came to represent much more. They proudly stood for and 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.

Saratoga.com
Tale Of The Peppermint Pig™: A Saratoga Christmas Tradition
The tradition of the famous Peppermint Pig™ started ages ago in the 1880s with candy makers in Saratoga Springs, NY. It’s a festive way to celebrate the holidays, and the tradition is even more popular today than when it was originally released.

In Victorian culture, the pig represented good health, happiness, and prosperity. Inspired by this symbol, old-fashioned candy makers in Saratoga started to create Peppermint Pigs™ each year during the holiday season. These sweet treats were made of hard peppermint candy - similar in taste and texture to a candy cane - and appropriately colored a very festive pink.

Google Books
We Two Alone in Europe
By Mary Louise Ninde
Chicago, IL: Jansen, McClurg, & Company
1886
Pg. 60:
Such wonderful “cookie hearts,” ornamented with pink and white sugar, with a motto in the centre! such rows upon rows of little pink candy pigs, to be presented as gifts of good luck!

23 December 1898, Pittsburg (PA) Press, pg. 12, col. 2:
270 Thirty-ninth street.
Dear Santa Claus—I want you to bring me a horse, wagon, a little dog, a candy pig, a set of blocks, a story book, a sled and don’t forget to fill my stocking with candy.
Melvin Virgin.

16 December 1899, Buffalo (NY) Evening Times, pg. 7, col. 5:
Candy Pigs.
Dear Santa Claus: Will you please send me a pair of rubber boots an air-gun and some candy pigs. I am 8 years old.
J. EDWIN DONAHER,
Shelby, N. Y.

23 December 1900, The Daily Tribune (Salt Lake City, UT), ‘Domestic Science,” pg. 19, col. 3:
Marzipan is a German Christmas confection that is becoming very popular in this country. (...) A Marzipan pig is a favorite model for the sweet, though fruits, flowers and other figures are largely used.

21 December 1990, The Post-Star (Glens Falls, NY), pg. B13, col. 3 ad:
The Peppermint Pig Returns
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 Christmas magic was in the making.

Peppermint Pigs are now available! Also, the 1990 Christmas Saratoga Springs commemorative Keepsake Box and Holiday Chocolates & Candies.

Saratoga Sweets
9 Caroline Street . Saratoga Springs

23 December 1990, The Post-Star (Glens Falls, NY), “Sweet memories: Peppermint pigs offer taste of an old-fashioned Christmas” by Melody Guarino, pg. C5, col. 2:
Peppermint pigs are a Christmas candy tradition that started in Saratoga in the mid-1880s. Although reasons for their appearance are not entirely clear, some say that it was tied to the Victorian notion that the pig was s symbol of good fortune for the coming year.

Others speculate that, with the number of working farms at the time, a family that had a pig was assured of an abundance of food. For whatever reason the popularity of peppermint pigs grew.

As the years passed, though small candy shops disappeared one by one, taking the pigs with them, to the dismay of the population.

When (Mike—ed.) Fitzgerald and wife, Christine, opened their candy shop in 1888, the Saratoga Historical Society suggested the pigs as a novelty.

13 December 1992, The Advocate (Stamford, CT), “Man revives tradition of candy pigs” (Associated Press), pg. A11, col. 6:
CLIFTON PARK, N.Y.—(...) The Peppermint Pig.

“It was as important as a Christmas tree,” said Mike Fitzgerald, a candy maker for eight years in Saratoga County. “You never had Christmas without a pig.”

Little historical data remains, but as the hearsay tells it, a Peppermint Pig was found in nearly every home in this Adirondack Mountain community, about 25 miles north of Albany, in the late 1800s and early 1900s.

The peppermint porkers, which taste like candy canes and range in size from 2 ounces to a pound, adorned dinner tables and mantles in the day leading up to the holiday, Fitzgerald said.

518 Bites & Sights
05/09/2018
FOODS UNIQUE TO UPSTATE NEW YORK & WHERE TO GET THEM
(...)
Peppermint Pigs: This is so classic Upstate New York Christmas and another thing I’ve never tried. Saratoga Sweets Candy Company is the go-to for peppermint pigs. If you’re gonna get one, make sure you do it right and use that gold hammer.

(Trademark)
Word Mark THE PEPPERMINT PIG
Goods and Services IC 030. US 046. G & S: Peppermint flavored hard candy. FIRST USE: 19901123. FIRST USE IN COMMERCE: 19901123
Mark Drawing Code (3) DESIGN PLUS WORDS, LETTERS, AND/OR NUMBERS
Design Search Code 03.07.09 - Boars; Hogs; Pigs; Pigs, boars
26.17.01 - Bands, straight; Bars, straight; Lines, straight; Straight line(s), band(s) or bar(s)
26.17.05 - Bands, horizontal; Bars, horizontal; Horizontal line(s), band(s) or bar(s); Lines, horizontal
Serial Number 85826017
Filing Date January 17, 2013
Current Basis 1A
Original Filing Basis 1A
Published for Opposition June 18, 2013
Registration Number 4395599
Registration Date September 3, 2013
Owner (REGISTRANT) Saratoga Sweets Ltd CORPORATION NEW YORK 1618 Route 9 Halfmoon NEW YORK 12065
(LAST LISTED OWNER) BOBROW DISTRIBUTING CORP. CORPORATION NEW YORK 8 ENTERPRISE AVENUE CLIFTON PARK NEW YORK 12065
Assignment Recorded ASSIGNMENT RECORDED
Attorney of Record Christopher J. Day
Disclaimer NO CLAIM IS MADE TO THE EXCLUSIVE RIGHT TO USE “PEPPERMINT PIG” APART FROM THE MARK AS SHOWN
Description of Mark Color is not claimed as a feature of the mark. The mark consists of the stylized wording “THE PEPPERMINT PIG” with a drawing of a pig between two horizontal lines.
Type of Mark TRADEMARK
Register PRINCIPAL
Live/Dead Indicator LIVE

Posted by Barry Popik
Nicknames of Other PlacesNew York State • Sunday, September 30, 2018 • Permalink