I used to work at The Olive Garden restaurant. We could sneak soup or bread sticks when we were hungry, but we could get suspended for eating the Andes chocolate mint candies that were given when the check was presented at each table. Over such a little thing as that? Yes, because when there are fifteen-plus empoyees on duty and we all eat our fill, the big box that should last all evening, disappears in about an hour. The candies are so good, and a refreshing minty taste remains when one is allowed to slowly melt in your mouth.
The history as told by the National Day of Calendar is fascinating, so I will share it.
The Aztecs and Mayans are given much credit for their ways with chocolate, and while chocolate was brought back to Europeans, they were not fond of the dark, bitter bean, and it was used more for medicinal purposes.
As it was mostly consumed as a hot beverage, Europeans mixed mint, cinnamon and other spices to make it more palatable. Over time, sugar was added, and the combination of chocolate and mint became fashionable.
Fast forward to the mid-1800s when inventions and improvements in processes made it possible for confectioners to begin mass producing chocolates. Even then, small candy shops served a local public. Advertisements for mint chocolates, or chocolate mints, did not start showing up in newspapers until the turn of the century. (Can you imagine getting a box of chocolates during that time period. I would guess they were very expensive.)
The International Dairy Foods Association states that mint chocolate chip is the 10th most popular flavor of ice cream.
Girl Scout Thin Mint cookies were first sold in 1953 and are still their most popular cookie. That means the Thin Mint will be 65 this year and yes, they are my favorite.
Whatever you are doing on this day I hope you make time to enjoy some sort of chocolate-mint delicacy.