Recognized by the US National Confectioners Association, National Chocolate Mint Day is observed annually across the nation on February 19th. This holiday has been set aside for all the chocolate mint lovers to eat their favorite treats all day long.
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.
The International Dairy Foods Association states that mint chocolate chip is the 10th most popular flavor of ice cream.
One of the earliest mass-producers of chocolate mints was Huyler’s in New York, which had a chain of stores across the country.
Today we find mint chocolate in everything from ice cream to brownies, cookies and candies, liquors and sauces.
Girl Scout Thin Mint cookies were first sold in 1953 and are still their most popular cookie.
Mint chocolate is also the name of an herb with edible leaves that taste like chocolate and mint.
- In tea houses and dinner halls of the early 1900’s mint sprigs and dark chocolates served after desserts for patrons to ‘chew for good breath and aid digestion’.
- Thin Mints account for over 25% of the annual Girl Scout cookie sales.
- Andes chocolate mints, created in 1921, have little to do with the Andes mountains. They were once called “Andy’s Candies” but the owner ‘found that men did not like giving boxes of candies with another man’s name on them to their wives and girlfriends’ so he changed the name.
- Frango Mints, perhaps the first chocolate mints, were first patented in 1918. They were sold in tea houses and sold frozen to emphasize the sharp mint flavor.
- Ancient Greeks believed mint could cure hiccups.