While Valentine’s Day has its chalky hearts, Easter its chocolate eggs, and candy corn rules the fall cornucopia, come December our tastes cool like the weather and long for the fresh sweetness of mint. Although there is no shortage of mint in our mouths during the rest of the year, specifically as a paste and gargle, the Christmas season invites us to move beyond the association of mint and dental hygiene to indulge our gourmet whims.
Whether you demand the punishing vapors of an old-timey pastille or a chewier experience, here’s what your favorite mint candy says about you.
The OG and a candy that nobody sane would pick unless they had a low tolerance for pleasure or modern sweets. Most likely to be handed to you in church.
Although it is literally the same material as the less desirable starlight mint, the candy cane has an allure that probably speaks to the satisfaction of performatively eating candy that is too big to fit in your mouth versus the limited experience of sucking on a bonbon. That said, fellating a sugar stick is generally viewed as lewd after a certain age, so if this is your favorite candy you are either very innocent or slutty.
A box of Williams-Sonoma peppermint bark indicates taste, but also money. More economical mint fanatics might layer melted chocolate and crushed peppermint for a homemade version in which case they probably have a lot of friends to share it with.
Your favorite restaurant is Olive Garden.
White Tic Tac
Unlike the idiosyncratic orange variety, white Tic Tacs have no redeeming flavor, but will make your breath smell good in the most aggressive way possible. The people who favor these are control freaks and strike fear in the hearts of others.
I don’t know anyone who actually likes these dusty pastilles for the taste. If you have somehow acquired an Altoids habit you are either an Anglophile with mature tastes or a teen who thinks the tin is a good place to hide drugs (it is not).
Bob’s Sweet Stripes
These sweet puffy peppermints are for people who want a treat with classic flavor and don’t mind paying a little extra for the privilege. The real appeal of these is the porous structure that makes them a crumbly mint you can chew not unlike a Tums, making them a favorite of short-sighted hedonists.
Although Junior Mints were introduced shortly after World War II, I get a depression-era vibe from them. They taste of frugality — from the thin oil-based chocolate shell to the runny interior. Junior Mints are not the first choice of someone who has options, mint or otherwise.
York Peppermint Pattie
The king of all minty treats, the Peppermint Pattie is also a chameleon, just like the people who choose it over all the caramel, nougat, and crunch options. Is it a candy bar? Not really. But it’s cool enough to hang out with them courtside at the register without questioning its identity. It’s for the popular kid with weird interests, someone who is flashy but never brags.