Experiment Results: You Got Your Chocolate in My Mint!
After a great deal of deliberation and a sugar high that has changed my brain chemistry permanently, here are the results of the You Got Your Mint in My Chocolate and... I Want You to Leave it There Taste Test:
In last place...
Palmer® Bells. Oh. Nast. They do not taste like they have any actual cocoa in them. Not much mint for that matter, either. And see how the bell has a "chocolate" part and a "mint" part? Uh, no. It's all the same, just colored differently. A quick examination of the package helps clear things up: partially hydrogenated palm oil is the second ingredient. Run. Run far and fast and never look back.
For Fourth Runner Up we have a surprising (at least to me) result...
The Hershey's Miniature Special Dark: Mint Sweet Chocolate. Sweet is right. Gaggingly sweet. Too sweet. And far too minty as well. It's weird because I'm a longtime fan of the larger bars of regular Special Dark. I was expecting more. So much for having faith in the dark side.
Third Runner Up goes to...
Hershey's Miniature: Mint White Chocolate with Candy Bits. First of all, you have to be big on white chocolate. I'm not. I don't really consider it chocolate. This was also extremely minty and features some little embedded white-trash pink and green balls. Like, you know, those things on the top of Sno Caps. Take a closer look:
This might be ok if you are a chewer. But I am a melt-in-mouther and it left me with a mouth full of crunchy little tasteless sugarballs. Neh.
Second Runner Up goes to...
Ghirardelli Chocolate Peppermint Bark. Again, not a big fan of white, and this is very white-oriented. See how it's about 2:1 white chocolate to milk? Would be better if it was 1:2. And maybe dark chocolate instead. And this one could use more mint - there's hardly any. It's got a bit of crunch with those pink candy bits (which are just pure unflavored sugar as far as I could tell) and is more pleasing than the balls in Hershey's effort. All in all it was buttery and not bad, but just not what I'm after.
First Runner Up goes to...
Hershey's Miniature: Mint Milk Chocolate. Creamy and delish but on the edge of too minty (they really need to dial it back a bit). It definitely wins in the bag of Miniatures, but then you're stuck with the other lower-ranking ones. Ah well, at least now you know which ones to pick out and eat first.
And our winner is..
Chocolate Mint Hershey's Kisses! They are delicious. And my (educated) hunch was right - they taste different than the First Runner Up, even though they are both mint milk chocolate from Hershey. I bet the recipe is different. The kisses taste very cocoa-y and creamy and contain the perfect amount of mint.
So, Chocolate Mint Hershey's Kisses won this round for sure, but how do they stand up to the good ol' Mint m&m's? I say it's a tie. If you like a bit of crunch, stick with the m&m's. If not, go for the Kisses. Above all, do not buy nasty-ass Bells.
Oh yeah, these guys get an honorable mention...
The Trader Joe's Dipped Candy Cane Thingies. Upon tasting, I don't think they really qualify as Chocomint. They are actually candy canes dipped in Chocolate, not chocolate infused with minty flavor. But they are good, and they were free. And free makes everything taste better, no?
Today I learned that it is very hard to clear the palette of mint. Between each test, I swished water and ate a small, salty rice cracker. (What? You thought this was a joke? I happen to be very serious about these taste tests and I resent the fact that any of you think I might be over here just stuffing my face with chocolate and using this blog as an excuse.)
I know there are gourmet-quality mint chocolates out there. Probably all better than those tested here. And I know I skipped other good consumer-quality ones like Andes and Aero. But it is now irrelevant. I don't care for mint-flavored chocolate any longer. Onward, sweet toothius!