Lemon Sticks

1 lemon, cut in half along the equator
2 cane sugar peppermint sticks

Place one peppermint stick in the middle of one lemon half. Repeat. Suck lemon juice through the peppermint stick and be oddly refreshed.

My thoughts:
Odd as it may seem, the peppermint stick/lemon combo is a Baltimore tradition found only at the Baltimore Flower Mart (where it began) and other local festivals. It’s just a regular lemon and a regular old fashioned cane sugar peppermint stick. Even though there is no hole in the peppermint, you are able to suck the juice through the candy as the lemon juice begins to eat away at the peppermint. No one seems to know how that this tradition got started but all agree that it has been around for decades. I have never come across this anywhere else and non-natives seem puzzled by it, but it really is a refreshing treat on a hot Spring day.
Due to popular demand: I found these histories and stories about lemon sticks if anyone is interested.


  1. how strange. but it does sound tasty.

  2. That’s extremely odd, but I can see how it’d be refreshing. Are the peppermint sticks you get hollow? I’ve only seen solid ones so I’m not sure how you’d suck lemon juice through them…

    Btw, love the new look of the blog, very clean and sharp ๐Ÿ™‚

  3. Great new look to your blog!

  4. Love the new look. And the lemon stick sounds interesting…would love to try it some time.

  5. What a cool combo… I’ll have to give that a try! Love your new look, it’s lovely!

  6. Love the new look! And I’ve got to try that lemon peppermint thingy.

  7. I would like to know the same thing ellie is asking..I’m not too sure juice could flow thru the candy sticks I get here, they’re solid.
    What a refreshing change! Great job!

  8. This is fun! And your new header/design is terrific — I want one!

  9. I had no idea they were a Baltimore thing. I got one at the arbutus arts festival also!

  10. One of my earliest memories is eating a lemon stick at the St. John’s (Lutheran church/school over in Brooklyn) May Fair when I was three. Yum!

  11. nice new look! and i’m definitely trying the peppermint stick in the lemon trick. when i was a kid i would just suck the juice out from a lemon. your way sounds so much nicer.

  12. Thanks for dropping by my site Rachel. I’ve not seen the lemonsticks idea before. I look forward to trying it.

  13. I’ve had lemonade with a mint sprig, so I can see it working…

    Love the new look ๐Ÿ™‚


  14. Wow…..I’m jealous of your new look!
    Beautiful, and the photos on the side are a very nice touch!

  15. I like the new site design. I am also having some growing pains with my site. I think sites with pictures really do the trick.

  16. We actually have that here in Utah, although I just heard about it a few weeks ago. Imagine my surprise then when I saw it here. ๐Ÿ™‚

    I like the new site too by the way!!

  17. I don’t know anything about the history of lemon sticks as you have presented it. However, I can remember public speaking students in Texas who claimed this was the way to avoid the overtaxed vocal cords that came from having to speak in round after round at tournaments.

  18. I was thrilled to see your lemon and peppermint stick treats. I remember them from 30 years ago at Amish fairs I visited on the east coast. Then, the chilled lemons where whole and punctured by a peppermint sugar stick, more porous than a sugar cane, and they were wonderful! I was just telling my twin boys about this โ€“ Thanks for the visual.

  19. I used to get these when I was a kid at the Heritage Fair in Dundalk! Yum!

  20. I have purchased the peppermint sticks at the store, located right with the lemons but I can’t get the juice through. Is there a special place to buy the sticks or a special preperation?
    Why can’t I get the juice through the stick.
    Welcome comments.

  21. They are the soft type peppermint sticks, not the hard kind similar to candy candies. That might be your problem. If not, you might want to buy juicier lemons or suck harder. You also might want to stick the stick in and let it “soak” for a few minutes before eating. People also have a tendency to squeeze the lemon as they eat so they get more juice. It will never gush like it would from an actual straw so if that is you expectation, you will be disappointed. I hope this helped.

  22. York County Library System

    fantastic – thank you for allowing permission to use your photo; it’s on our site

    and our blog

    What a yummy idea, and fantastic image. Thanks!!!

  23. I grew up eating this combo.& they were so fun when you had sleep overs as a child.My mom would always have lemons and a bag of pepermint sticks ready for us….I would say its probably a mexican thing..ha…Mexicans love to eat everything with lemon…seriously. =D


  24. I grew up in the Rio Grande Valley of Texas where the ‘peppermint orange’ is (was?) very popular. Same principle, but with an orange. During the ’50s -’70s, they were served at concession stands on Friday nights at the local h.s. football games.

    Delish…but hard to find the right type peppermint sticks anymore.

  25. I remember drinking hot chocolate through a peppermint stick – I wish it were still possible to find soft peppermint sticks!

  26. I grew up here in California with putting a piece of regular candy cane in an orange every Christmas. (70’s-present day)We got them in our stockings. You need juicy oranges and patience. The acid eats right through the candy. I can’t wait to try it with lemons! We still have lots of leftover candy canes, yummy!

  27. I’ve had these before! They were very good! I hope to see them in just about every festival. So I added this to my mock religion website, saying it is the official treat of the annual “Who Needs Monday Week”. I even added this webpage. Heheh..I hope you don’t mind!

  28. Oh, awesome, thanks for this post! We had them every year at my school's Field Day (Norfolk, VA). Instead of halving the lemon, tho', we had them with a whole lemon, just a hole punched in the peel with an apple-corer or some such tool.

    I found a passable facsimile of the peppermint sticks we used to use for this at a Cracker Barrel recently. I made myself one and posted a pic to my Facebook page, which led to some speculation about where the lemon-with-a-peppermint-stick-in-it came from. Thank you for the info! ๐Ÿ™‚

  29. My Sister in law used to do this in Texas around Christmas time. My friend at the Renaissance Festival sells them and he gets the peppermint sticks from Jeppi. For about $9 you get around 100 of them!

  30. We used to have these at our our school's field day (Resurrection – Ellicott City).

  31. Decided to share this experience with my daughters during the holidays and didn't know it originated in Baltimore..brought back so many memories of me and my mom at the flower mart..didnt know a peppermint stick could have such and affect