BY MICHAEL HILL
SARATOGA SPRINGS, NY — A holiday tradition in the upstate New York resort town of Saratoga Springs has a peppermint twist: pig-shaped hard candies are sold with little metal hammers to be smashed at Christmas.
The peppermint pigs, which can weigh up to a pound, are considered good luck charms by some.
Mike Fitzgerald owns Saratoga Sweets, which will make about 130,000 of the pigs this season. The peppermint porkers have been a local favorite since he restarted the tradition in 1988 and have spread around the country with online and catalog sales.
In the old days, the pig was placed on the Christmas dinner table. Father would wrap it in a napkin and crack it with the steel rod used to sharpen knives. The tradition had faded away by the mid-20th century.