In honour of the American election happening tomorrow, I thought I’d do my neighbourly best by marking the occasion with that most relevant of British treats, Romney’s Kendal Mint Cake.
The Pitch: There’s a back story on the wrapper that puts all other “X-TREEM!” snack treat marketing to shame. “Romney’s Kendal Mint Cake was carried to the summit of MOUNT EVEREST by Sir Edmund Hillary and Sirdar Tensing on the 29th of May, 1953. ‘We sat on the snow and looked at the country far below us … we nibbled Kendal Mint Cake.’ A member of the successful Everest Expedition wrote – ‘It was easily the most popular item on our high altitude ration – our only criticism was that we did not have enough of it.’ ”
Best Before: Aug 2012. Oops. Hope that hasn’t tainted the review.
The Look: “White,” says the package. “Agreed,” says I. The cake is like a flat, shimmering, sparkly, semi-smooth sugar cube. It’s scored into four parts, which makes it perfect for sharing with your Sherpa guide. The packaging is conservative, old-fashioned and dated in a way that suggests a traditional fan base who know and love the product, and who are fearful of change.
The Taste: MINTY! Seriously, I’m going to be tasting this mint cake for hours. Refreshingly cool peppermint with sweet, sweet sugar. The texture is nice, and isn’t overly hard; I successfully bit off pieces without shattering any teeth. It dissolves easily into a sugary mint paste, releasing its flavour and sweetness in a surge of taste, then pulls back and lingers.
RATINGS AND DETAILS
Cost: $1.39 (on sale) for a 50 gram bar at British Pantry in Calgary.
Value for cash money: Not bad.
Availability: Very limited in Canada. Try UK import shops.
Nutrition?: No idea. No info given on package. The ingredients are sugar, glucose syrup, water and peppermint oil, so you might want to take it easy.
The verdict: Good luck, America. While I wouldn’t want to endorse the Republican whose moniker this candy shares, I’d heartily endorse this mint cake. It’s just that good.