Tuesday, May 11, 2010

Bendicks Bittermints

Once again, we have the fantastic Cinabar of Foodstuff Finds to thank for this review. As part of our amazing U.S./U.K. candy swap, she sent me this adorable tube of Bendicks Bittermints.

The tube is filled with individually wrapped patties. The patties consist of a firm peppermint fondant enrobed in a whopping 95% dark chocolate! 95% is some seriously deep stuff -- and even Bendicks' own website describes it as being "almost too dark." But the candy also features the stamp of the British royal family, and I like to think that maybe eating these candies is what put the hot into Prince Hot Ginge (AKA Prince Harry):

...and hopefully not what sucked the hot out of Prince William. Seriously, how the hell did this:

...turn into this?:

Anyway...what were we talking about again? Oh yeah...candy...anyway...

So, Bendicks Bittermints. The tube-sized version is slightly smaller than the size of our mini York peppermint patties. When you open the tube, there is a very intense chocolate/mint aroma that wafts up and pimp-slaps your senses (but in a genteel way).

Breaking the patty in two, you can see that the chocolate layer is just thick enough to give a nice seal to the mint fill, but it's not a thick shell. The mint fondant itself looks sort of like an Arctic white chunk of hard cheese. It's sort of dry and crumbly looking -- if you were expecting smooth or fluffy, you are in the wrong place.

Do not let looks deceive you. The chocolate is indeed extremely strong; it's a little dry, and the flavor is mostly of cocoa. It's sort of earthy, and it's not sweet at all. But before you get to the point where you are wondering why you ever bit into it, the mint kicks in.

It is a powerful mint! It's like an Altoid to the tenth power. In fact, at first it's almost too strong. It's not a sweet mint, either -- it's strong and herbal and clean, but it doesn't taste medicinal. It melts smoothly, even though it feels grainy when you first bite in. And it melts fast on the tongue.

The power of the mint doesn't wane for a good five minutes. And by the time the bite is starting to die down, you find yourself reaching for another...and then another...and yet another... Yeah, these things are just plain addictive.

Many thanks to Cinabar for causing me to add another candy to the Can't Keep In The House list! (Jim also reviewed them and gave them high marks. Read his review here.)


Gift from Cinabar of Foodstuff Finds.


55 calories per patty.


Contains soy. May contain traces of nuts.




Nixontech_blank said...

Gigi, wow, okay, your reviews are detailed and to the point at best, but seriously, celebrity references and celebrity worship is just too irrelevant to the topic at hand. I am sorry if this honest opinion makes you feel "irked" though....

Gigi said...

No, your comment doesn't "irk" me, as you put it -- although I must say the tone of your bitchslap-within-a-compliment seems more than just a tad passive-aggressive. Whether you intended that or not, as I have stated in several places on the site (including the box you must see when leaving comments), you do not have to agree with me, or even like the site. And you are welcome to say so, as long as you say it in a civil manner, which you have -- more or less -- done. I believe that everyone is entitled to their own opinion, and I do not publish only the ones that happen to agree with mine.

It's also clear to me that you have missed the point of my site. I always aim to bring as much information as I can to a review (without going overboard), with the final outcome being my own opinion of the product. And I take the task of being as fair and honest as I can quite seriously. Nonetheless, I do not take everything that seriously. I have a deep-seated love of pop culture, all things Gen-X, a taste for the irreverent, and at times a downright dirty sense of humor -- and all of those things go into my writing, and they ultimately are what shape Gigi Reviews into what it is. So, N.B.: those things are not changing anytime soon.

I also like the use of celebrity or pop culture references because they can often serve as a simple metaphor for something that may be quite complicated, thus eliminating a huge amount of verbiage that would turn an otherwise straightforward blog entry into something resembling an encyclopedia entry. An example would be my Kosher for Passover week. That week's posts included having to explain things that have such extensive history and meaning behind them that I had to break things down to their most basic "hows" and "whys" because I wanted non-Jews to be able to understand at least a semblance of their significance and symbolism's. And I am happy to say that during that week, I got several rather nice emails from both rabbis and regular Jewish folks, who told me that they would be using some of my examples to explain the holiday and its customs to their non-Jewish friends who didn't quite get it. Were my posts definitive guides to Passover? Absolutely not! I wouldn't be so arrogant as claim that -- but, with the use of celebrity trivia, pop culture, and mass-market brands, I was able to take something enormously vast and make it a little smaller, a little more understandable -- and perhaps a bit tongue-in-cheek. And to be completely fair, I sometimes use those same references not because they are teachable, but simply because they amuse me.

For all the things in the world we may disagree about or fight over, food -- more to the point, the love of food -- is one of the few thing we all share, and I am no different. I want to share as much about different foods as I can with whoever wants to take a few minutes a day to read about it. As long as I am here casting my thoughts out onto the vast and wild prairie that is the Internet, there will be far too many references to the movie "Showgirls" than can possibly be healthy, there will be quips from TV shows, snippets of (often bad) pop songs, and the ever-present usage of hot (or at least those I decree to be hot) celebs spicing up the mix.

I know that there are many great review blogs out there that do not take the approach I do. They are more serious, more to the point, and I can't say I have seen nipples used on many of them. I read them myself. Heck, I even link to them. And maybe those blogs are the ones that a lot of people, including yourself, would be more well suited to reading.