The candy cane is right up there on the list of major iconic Christmas images: sleigh bells, wreaths, holly, gingerbread, cookies, snow . . . and candy canes. Peppermint ones, red & white striped. They go on the tree, they go in stockings, they go in my hot chocolate.
Add those, then, to the list of things that just aren’t the same here: I’m having a really hard time finding peppermint candy canes. They like candy canes here, certainly. They come in a rainbow of colors (sometimes literally) and a variety of flavors: apple, cinnamon, strawberry. But, no peppermint. I’ve been looking all of the Christmas markets. At first, I thought I must just be missing them — surely, they MUST have peppermint candy canes (and I even know how to say peppermint, so it’s not a translation problem) — but then another friend of mine said she was having trouble finding them. (Now I know why they don’t have Peppermint Mochas at Starbucks here — peppermint doesn’t seem to be a Christmas thing in Austria.)
I came close today. I found a candy shop at a market that sold all kinds of candy canes, even lemon and “root beer” (written just like that, in English) flavored. The did have big, white peppermint candy sticks, but they were all while, straight (no hook end) and about twice the length and width of a candy cane. Not close enough. I’m still looking.