I am a big fan of mint. From the plant grown in the ground to all the stuff flavored by it I dig it all. As long as it’s good and minty.

For a long time I was a big Altoids fan. I discovered them in the early 90’s before they were widely available. They only place I ever saw them in those days was in little tobacco shops around Manhattan. It’s a wonder I found them at all being that I don’t smoke but I think I wandered in there with a friend who did. The “Curiously Strong” slogan caught my eye and I bought some. Good stuff. The first of the strong stuff flavored with real mint.

I say I was an Altoids fan because I don’t eat them much anymore. A few years ago I started finding them curiously weak. All the tins I purchased were stale and wimpy. It didn’t matter what store I bought them in they weren’t any good. I don’t know if it’s because they changed them or that quality control has gone down hill. Either way I’m off of them. It’s a shame really because they were so good. A lot of my friends still find them good so maybe I have gotten quite a few bad tins. Who knows? It’s enough to keep me away though.

White Tic Tacs are also a favorite of mine. They’re changed their recipe over the years but I still like them. They’re one of the only “sugar mints” that I like. Except they have a strange after taste. That leads to eating mint after mint because the beginning taste is better. I do find that if I eat two white with one red (cinnamon) Tic Tac it improves the flavor all around. I carry a box of them with just that ratio when I’m out.

I’m not really a gum person but I have been chewing some mint gum lately. The explosion of super strong mints that Altoids lead a decade ago found its way into the gum world recently. They now have a variety of super minty gums. I’ve been chewing Eclipse brand and I’ve tried a few others that are good too. The flavor lasts a while and even reaches to the edge of my chewing patience. About fifteen minutes or so. That’s longer lasting flavor than the typical mint.

If you’re a real fan of mint you have to try the Tom’s of Maine spearmint mouthwash. I use their toothpaste, which also comes in a variety of natural mint flavors, and one tube came with a sample of the afore mentioned mouthwash. It’s strong with a natural spearmint kick that will get you going. I was never a mouthwash user but I keep some of this stuff around because it tastes so good.

And now a word on the mints I don’t like. “Sugar mints”. They’re the kind, like Lifesavers, that have been around for years. They say they’re mint flavored but they are really sugar flavored with some mint thrown in. I’m glad Altoids changed the mint landscape because this used to be all we had.

I also can’t stand all of the “chemical mints” that have proliferated since Altoids. These mints are supposed to be super strong but don’t contain any actual mint. They’re made from some chemical flavoring that tries to mimic mint but just tastes artificial to me. Usually these are found in some gimmicky packaging and the mints are an afterthought.

Wintergreen mints. These are not real mints. They’re the original chemical mint but they’re been around so long that people accept them as one of the basic mint flavors. I never could stand these. They taste like they were made in a lab to me. I’ve also noticed that this is the favorite mint of people who don’t like mints. I guess that makes sense being that it’s not a real mint but I’ve always found that odd.

Who would have thunk that I’d have so many thought on mints? Just another little bit of insight into being me.