Monday, November 19, 2007

Mmmm, Minty Seasonal Miniatures

Chocolate Mint is probably my favorite flavor in pretty much anything, except the short-lived chocolate mint Bubblicious (see the TV commercial link for a Cookie Crisp cross-promo, and what they're wearing - I looked like that too). Back in the day when I chewed a piece of the chocolate mint gum, as soon as I stopped thinking about it I tried to swallow it. Every time. I tossed the pack after 3 pieces, figuring it's better to just divide church and state and keep gum and chocolate mint apart for good before I died trying. I guess they did, too.

Here are a few new-ish chocolate mint candies – I sampled these in the miniature size bars. Andes Peppermint Crunch (photo - top)
Andes brings back memories of trying not to eat a whole row of them when my mother had company over at Christmas. If you close your eyes, you feel the consistency of the regular andes mint in this new vessel of white chocolate and nice crunchy bits. I find this candy my favorite of those pictured, as it's refreshing without feeling "chocolatey", like when you eat a lemon square instead of a brownie and somehow you think it's healthier or better for you - more refreshing.
Hershey's Mint Milk Chocolate (photo - bottom left)
Bravo! This tastes like a york peppermint patty, but with the 'chocolate only' consistency. I am not a big fan of milk chocolate, but this is an impressively good milk chocolate mint.
3 Musketeers Mint with Dark Chocolate (photo - bottom right)
I had the highest hopes for this one when I bit into it the first time. However, my reaction was not unlike the scene in Big when Tom Hanks eats caviar for the first time. I love mint, I love dark chocolate, but man... I never imagined that the consistency of the mint "filling" would play such a huge role. As we know, 3 Musketeers is this fluffy nougat type deal, and usually it's tolerable to good (unless stale, then very bad). For some strange reason the white nougat filling in this is SO distracting to me, the initial horror and surprise is unexplainable - you expect substance from a mint interior (like a peppermint patty or a truffle-weight filling), not this faux mint whip. It felt like someone dipped a piece of Wonder Bread into Godiva Chocolate. To it's credit, dark chocolate is actually quite good which allowed me to eat it - grimacing all along in a state of taste confusion.

In summary, I think that the true 'bar' of chocolate mint to aspire to is still the York Peppermint Patty. Personally, I prefer the snack sized ones (in the bulk bags) as I feel the ratio of chocolate to peppermint is far better than the large one they sell individually. The commercials from the old days were right on, "When I bite into a york peppermint patty, I feel the sensation of...". It's visceral, has a good bite, and a good dark chocolate wavy coat.

Honk if you like mint chocolate!


Brian Grossman said...

Dawn - Great post! Too funny.

I have a secret to confess... you brought in some homemade white chocolate / peppermint bark to the office last year... since then I can't get enough of it. I'm honestly not a huge fan of white chocolate and I can live w/o candy canes, but together... yummers!



HoppyC1 said...

O.K., I'm not the choco-holic-type that everyone else seems to be. That said, I usually have a "stash" of Belgian mini-chocolate bars from Trader Joe's somewhere on my packed person [shoulder bag/backpack/overnight bag/classroom drawer/cabinet] for those instances where I need a sugar fix (usually after staying up all night working on lessons] and I do not want to OD. I still like the year-round favorite of the York Peppermint patty. Yeah, the chocolate isn't Belgian, nor high cacao content, nor especially remarkable, yet for something I can get just about anywhere, tastes more than passable, AND doesn't cost an arm and a leg [unless from the usery-priced room "mini-bar", then I'm down with it!

Cap'n John said...

Though it's cold outside I can't help thinking about two ultimate blendings of chocolate and mint: York Peppermint Patty Klondike Bar, second only to my mother's homemade chocolate fudge sauce over peppermint stick ice cream (a family holiday favorite for years).

Bob Flynn said...

I've grown to appreciate chocolate mint. Growing up I thought it tasted like eating chocolate after I brushed my teeth (kind of like when you drink milk after you brush your teeth, and it screws with your taste buds). Or maybe I'm confusing it with mint ice cream, or dipping those Girl Scout Thin Mints in milk.

Katharine said...

Ghirardelli has a new chocolate mint thing out on the market. I'll have to look into getting you some...

Brian Grossman said...

Hey... I just had Hershey's Candy Cane Mint Kisses this weekend. They were actually pretty good. A testament to the power of the chocolate-mint combo -- it can even make Hershey's chocolate taste good!

teabean said...

Candy Cane Joe joe's (from Trader Joe's) are ridiculously good :)

Think Oreos with crushed candy cane pieces in the 'stuff'. yummy!