National Peppermint Pattie Day is observed each year on February 11th.
The oldest commercially-made mint pattie or cake was made by the Quiggin’s family on the Isle of Man (an island located in the middle of the northern Irish Sea). They had been making the cakes since 1840, but in 1880, four of the sons formed the Kendal Mint Cake Company.
In the United States, as early as 1900, peppermint patties were made by regional confectioneries. Companies such as Idaho Candy Company, Trudeau Candie’s and Pearson’s (which purchased Trudeau in 1951, both were Minnesota companies). Possibly the most known, though not the oldest, York Peppermint Patties were made by the York Cone Company of Pennsylvania.
York Peppermint Pattie’s were first made in 1940 and distributed regionally much like other candy makers of the era. York dominated the market because of its firmness and crispness while the others were soft. A former York employee remembered that the final (sample) test of the pattie before it left the factory was called a “snap test.” If the candy did not break clean in the middle, it did not make it onto candy store shelves.
In 1975 the company was acquired by Peter Paul Cadbury. The factory was moved to Reading, Pennsylvania, to much distress to the workers and residents of York. The popular treat was then distributed across the country.
Peppermint Patties were sold only in northeastern states until 1975.
Peppermint Patties have one of the least amount of calories and fat compared to other nationally popular candy bars.
Charles Schulz introduced “Peppermint Patty” to his Peanuts comic strip on August 22, 1966. Patricia Reichardt is Peppermint Patty’s actual name.
There are a couple of unusual things about this candy. First, the sugar content is distributed differently than in most chocolate candies. Much of the sugar is in the peppermint center, leaving the outer chocolate coating quite bittersweet – emphasis on bitter.