Monday, January 18, 2021

Tastes like Soap, but in a Good Way?

Choward's Violet Mints

I have a LOT of hobbies. There's this blog, my Etsy shop, feeding (and hopefully trapping) a few local feral cats, sewing, cooking, baking, art/drawing, watching/collecting movies, and on top of all that...I collect vintage goods. Mostly vintage cameras and projectors, but I also collect vintage books, records, 45's, and other knick-knacks. This summer in particular I went down a strange rabbit hole and found myself obsessed with vintage metal trivets. Why? How? I have no idea, but it happened, and now I am the proud owner of 5 of them hanging in my kitchen. So why not add vintage candy to the mix?  

Choward's Violet is something I had seen around, but never picked up. The textured foil wrapping and vintage aesthetics always drew me in, but I never really knew what they were. The package says mints, but it also says violet. Is it a flowery candy? Or just a purple colored mint? Or both?

I've had some floral products over the years, like elderflower lemonade, and I can't say that I'm a fan. As I eloquently like to put it, "it tastes like grandmas." But, as we age our tastebuds change. I once hated black licorice, now I actually enjoy it and find myself seeking out licorice allsorts from time to time, same goes for mushrooms, so why not give floral flavors another go?   

The wrapping really is beautiful. It's thick silver and purple textured foil, but you so rarely see foil these days that it feels luxe to the touch, and it tears open really satisfyingly. You just don't get that tactile experience with all the thin plastic wrappers these days.

Inside, the mints are perfectly stamped and shaped little squares with a faint purple-ish gray coloring. They smell sweet, sugary, and lightly perfumed, but there's no hint of mint.    

This was certainly not love at first taste. My initial reaction was that this tasted like sugared soap. It wasn't bad enough that I felt the urge to spit it out, but it certainly wasn't enjoyable. 
I savored it slowly, and I found myself liking it more as it dissolved, but it still made me feel like I was eating deodorant. Yet, even with that very accurate description, I found myself coming back for more.

Did they put crack in these? I'm getting flashbacks to the tomacco episode of The Simpsons. The slim square shape has great mouth feel, the "mint" itself doesn't taste like mint at all, but it has such a satisfying snap when you bite into it that I can't make one last for more than a few seconds. Even though it leaves my mouth tasting like I ate a sugared spoonful of potpourri, I still can't help but reach for another one. 

Even though I have devoured nearly the entire package, I still don't know how I really feel about them. I guess the real test is, would I buy these again? And I think I would. 

They are available in other, more basic, flavors like peppermint, spearmint, and lemon, which might be less divisive, but none of these are as iconic as the Violet. 

This is not sponsored, at all, but if you want to try these for yourself you can get a whole sampler pack of their products from less than $4.00 (not including shipping.) Honestly, it's a pretty great deal, and would make for a fun, cheap, vintage-themed candy day with your friends or family while you're all stuck in quarantine, or a cute gift for your grandparents, or fans of Mad Men, who remember these from the good ol' days.  

Fans of these would also like: Vintage Mike & Ike Cotton Candy, Shane Confectionary, Fentiman's Curiosity Cola, or Mallow Cups
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