An Ode to Chocolate Mint

Posted by David Winnick

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Chocolate. One of the most beloved flavors in the world. It is wonderful on its own but when the time comes for desserts to become more complex and combinations start to fill the minds of chocolatiers, there is one companion which tops all others.

Its name is mint.

When speaking of mint and chocolate, one of the first things that comes to mind is the ever famous mint chocolate chip ice cream. A wonderful treat for a warm summer day, a scoop of mint chocolate chip becomes a momentary respite from the oppressive heat of the beating sun. It is true that the allure of ice cream is hard to deny, but the power of mint and chocolate does not end there.

Turn your minds to the York Peppermint Pattie, a solid disk of white peppermint cream encased in a layer of chocolate dark enough to rival the devils heart. According to the advertising campaign, a simple taste of this confection is enough to transport the consumer into a world of food induced ecstasy. As a simple recommendation, the cool mint sensation can be intensified with the help of a few hours in a freezer.
If the Peppermint Pattie isn’t for you, perhaps then it is time to turn your attention to the Andes Mint.
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Contained within its foil wrapper, the Andes Mint is a perfect chocolate treat. Though many believe that the mint flavor is contained within the upper green layer of the candy, it is actually throughout the entire piece. The Andes Mint has become synonymous with the Olive Garden restaurant chain. At the end of the meal the check is presented with a single mint per diner (unless the wait staff is kind and provides more than the allotted amount). Perhaps this mint can be utilized to freshen the breath after a garlic laden Italian meal. A precursor to an end of date kiss.
So many different versions of chocolate and mint abound that it is almost impossible to discuss them all. The Dutch mint holds a special place for some with its thin candy coating, soft chocolate layer and mint center. Others tout the pros of a mint chocolate brownie. Then there is the Frankenstein’s Monster from See’s Candy known as the Marshmint. This treat is a delicious affront to nature, a perfect example of candy eugenics. A square chocolate cup which contains a marshmallow center and is topped with a mint jelly. So powerful is the Marshmint that it is not carried in stores. It can only be special ordered because the other candy cannot defend itself against the Marshmint’s minty power.
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There is but one more mint and chocolate treat which must be discussed. A dessert which comes but once a year, peddled by the most insidious of pushers. They seem so innocent knocking on the doors of their neighbor’s homes and standing outside the local grocery store, but we all know the evil that comes carried in the dainty hands of the local girl scouts. The Thin Mint, a cookie so delicious, so enticing that it is impossible to decline. The Thin Mint cookie accounts for 25% of all Girl Scout cookie sales. It is not uncommon to find people hoarding the little green boxes, hiding cookies from friends and family alike. If it were not for the fact that Thin Mints are only sold for a brief period of time each year, many American’s would need a twelve step program to stop consuming them.
The only way to make it past Thin Mint withdrawal is to keep repeating, ‘It’s just a cookie. It’s just a cookie.”