We may have to give Baltimore credit for the lemon stick, the old-fashioned fruit-and-candy combo that still sneaks its way into mid-Atlantic state fairs, between the fried dough and sno-cones. Baltimore’s venerable Flowermart festival, which claims the invention of the lemon stick, was founded in 1911, three years before the Rittenhouse Square Flower Market bloomed.
But the sweet-sour treat — and the gingerbread men sold alongside it — has been a tradition in Philadelphia for as long as anyone planning the 94th annual charity event (May 14th and 15th) can remember. So we’ll take credit for this twist: In Baltimore, a peppermint stick spears the lemon, but in Philly, the flavor is more classically citrusy. In Rittenhouse, a lemon-flavored hard candy rod with a porous center, hand-pulled by Giambri’s Candy in Clementon, serves as a straw for the bright lemon juice.