Wednesday, October 13, 2010

i try mints

Fresh breath. Minty minty fresh. The mint-making companies have instilled in us the fear of god. Heaven forbid we should have bad breath! The options for fending of bad breath or just a bad after taste are plentiful. This is part one of The Mint Review.

Jila Mints

Packaging: These little balls come in a delightful little cardboard box, complete with fliptop lid, and covered with plastic wrap. The good people at Ferndale Confectionary have gone with a sophisticated, unintimidating navy/gold/white colour scheme (perhaps targeting an older market?). Allegedly, Jila mints are made "the traditional way", whatever that is. The pack also features a little speel about how Jila mints are all natural and actually uses the phrase "hard to the core". At the top it says "smoother, stronger, longer". Oh the innuendo...

Taste: These little balls may look tiny and cute. Don't be fooled. They are hard and they might break your teeth. They have a good mint strength (mint factor 7) and a pleasant aftertaste. But don't try to chew them. They are stronger than you. They are not a toy. Although, they would be perfect for replacing lost balls in your Hungry Hungry Hippos game.

Price: 4x 27g packets for $3.63

Tic Tacs

Packaging: "Freshness in 2 calories". What? One of these tiny little tablets is two whole calories? Wow. Turns out Tic Tac packets are quite informative unless, of course, you want to know what's actually in them. Still, the packet does double as an excellent maracca! Enough said.

Taste: The problem with Tic Tacs is they are so bloody small you need half the packet in order to get a decent hit of minty goodness. Apparently the peeps at Tic Tac have realised this and come up with a solution: The Tic Tac Big Box. The share-ability factor is high because there is so many of them. Tic Tacs have a flavour that can only be called Tic Tac flavour. There is peppermint there but there is something else too. I have know idea what it is though because there is no ingredients list on the packet. Mint factor: 6.5.

Price: $1.66 for 24g


Packaging: These little tablets come in a modern, shiny metal tin with a nifty flip top lid. "POWERFUL FRESH BREATH" is stamped across the packet in front of a fancy graphic of what I can only assume is an eclipse. I like shiny things. So I give this one a thumbs up based on that alone. And it's recyclable! Happy days!

Taste: The thing about these mints is they are quite small. So I was muching on about six at a time. While they are small they do have quite a powerful minty taste. Oh yes, this packet aint lying. Six at a time pushes the mint factor up to a mighty 9. Trouble is they are easy to chew. One crunch and you are already loading up the next round of six in your hand (which is a problem given the packet also says, "excess consumption may have a laxative effect").
Price: $2.44 for 50 mints


Packaging: Ah, the Freshmaker. The mentos packet is a handy size, it's easy to access and is quite pleasent to look at. However, the fact that it opens at both ends (sometimes without warning) is serious design flaw. And what the hell is a "dragee"?!?

Taste: The mentos chew factor is high. But we shouldn't be too surprised given it says "chewy dragee" on the packet. The mint factor is also quite high along with the sugar factor. The mintiness is diluted by the sugar. But, I'm not complaining. I'm going to be honest here. If I buy a packet of mentos it's always the fruit ones. They are the same as the mint ones. They both come from China, they both have the same amount of sugar and they both feature the same warning about how eating too many might give you the runs. The fruit ones just have a different flavour. Lolly flavour. Better flavour.

Price: $1.18 for 37.5g


Packaging: Looking at this packet I'm expecting these to be really strong. So strong that they almost shouldn't be legal. XXX. They sound like black market mints. The packet is in the same vein as mentos (foil covered in paper), although they don't have the problem of mints coming out the bottom as well as the top.

Taste: They call themselves "The Extra Strong Mint". Lies. All lies. A more truthful name would be "The Moderately Strong Mint". Mint factor: 3. The crunch factor is high. They have this weird powdery texture that is not entirely distasteful. But, they seem to disintegrate in seconds. These ones are made at our neighbour's place over in NZ (a nice change from all the other mints that have travelled from Shanghai).

Price: $1.24 for 45g


Packaging: Minties aren't exactly travel friendly. The plastic bag is pretty massive. Although, the share factor is very high given each mint is individually wrapped. Handy, yes, but Al Gore would not approve. The little pictures on the individual wrappers aren't exactly works of art. They're certainly not the reason you buy Minties. Everyone knows the reason you buy Minties is to see who can tear their little wrapper into the longest thread.

Taste: It's ironic that Minties feature little pictures of socially awkward situations given that's exactly what they create. You put a minty in your mouth. You're expecting it to be soft. But it's not. It's kinda hard. And kinda stretchy. It's sticking to your teeth and gum, and pretty much taking over your mouth like some wild, out of control, mutant lolly. You screw up your nose, cock your head to the side and wince as you try to combat the little beast. Then you realise someone has been trying to ask you a question for the last five minutes. You mumble through the minty and make lots of hand gestures in an effort to explain you're going to need another five minutes to finish your minty. But, it's too late. They've already walked away. Mint factor: 8. Chew factor: through the roof.

Price: $2.97 for 200g

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