Fact: Americans are in a fiery, long-term love affair with their backyard grills, and the CNN Library has the stats to prove it.
62 – Percent of Americans who own a grill.
79.1 million – Americans who have grilled out in the past 12 months, according to the U.S. Census from 2010.
8.3 – Percentage who grill two or three times a month.
While you're frying up some eggs and bacon, we're cooking up something else: a way to celebrate today's food holiday.
We're hooked! December 26 is National Candy Cane Day.
In folklore, the story of the candy cane is full of religious symbolism. The shape of the candy cane itself symbolizes a shepherd's crook. Legend goes that in 1847, an Indiana candy maker colored the canes red, for the blood of Jesus. The white was said to represent purity and the Virgin birth. Turned upside down, the candy cane looks like a "J," for Jesus.
Many, including Snopes.com, have debunked this story, saying that candy canes have been around since the 17th century. There's no basis for the explanation of the symbolism in historical fact - they weren't red and they weren't striped. Still, they taste good no matter what color they are!
This food holiday is so fast, you might just miss it - November 16 is National Fast Food Day.
One more great thing about the holidays (besides the mere fact that the HOLIDAYS ARE COMING UP!) is all of the exciting, limited-edition offerings that fast food restaurants start introducing around this time each year.
Burger King Japan started selling the "BK Pumpkin Burger" in October for a limited run. The name says it all - the sandwich consists of two pieces of fried Japanese pumpkin atop a beef patty, with bacon and a special sauce. Even the bun is supposedly shaped like a pumpkin! Too bad this one isn't available in the U.S.
Snack on a slice of this - November 15 is National Bundt Cake Day!
Everyone loves Bundt cake, the beautifully shaped cake from the distinctive, ring-shaped mold. The first Bundt pan was created in 1950 by H. David Dalquist, founder of the Nordic Ware company.
According to the company's history, the Minneapolis Chapter of the Hadassah Society asked David and his wife, Dotty, to make a traditional kuglehopf (or gugelhopf) pan. Dalquist obliged but started marketing his pan to department stores as a bund pan (the German word "bund" means a gathering or alliance, which the cake was perfect for!). He then added a "t" for trademark protection.
The popularity of Bundt cakes didn't really take off until the 1960s, when a Texas housewife won second place in the Pillsbury Bake-Off Contest with her Tunnel of Fudge cake.
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