BE MERRY! The season demands I comply. Peppermint disappears from the shelves like eggnog and its predecessor pumpkin spice. It dies a cruel death even though you and I know it will bloom in every crevice of free soil come June. I need PEP to get through the winter. PEP smells good and it comes with sugar and chocolate. It is spirited!
Although I do worry a bit about diabetes, I worry more about depression, Donald Trump’s impact on my life and my own sanity so this year I tried peppermint. Lot’s o’ peppermint. Here are the results.
Product number 1: Peppermint cocoa or mocha.
I make it at home with the cheapest cocoa packet, almond milk and peppermint extract. I never used to buy the packets because I always have baking cocoa on hand but you have to put 5 minutes of work into that. When I buy it at a coffee stand it better be great because I make this all the time and I want a treat. Give me the Goddamn whipped cream please!
Kaladi’s Brothers hot chocolate was too sweet so I could not taste the peppermint at all. Steam Dot was not sweet enough, more like chocolate mud.
The winners: Starbucks in Anchorage for its “treaty-ness” and Peet’s Coffee overall because of customer service, ambiance and superlative everything.
Product number 2: Peppermint ice cream –
The overall winner is Tillamook. Both creamy and pepperminty, you can’t beat it. I couldn’t even find it this year! I tried others which were just bad. Peppermint oil is very strong and cheap but some places use artificial flavor anyway, yuck! It also doesn’t have to be pink, thank you!
Product number 3: Candy canes
The expensive ones are no better than the cheap ones but I stick with peppermint or crème de menthe. Then there are those gigantic gourmet canes they sell at ACE Hardware. Go expensive if you must get a fruit flavor, pumpkin pie or coffee flavor or make some kind of impression. All the flavored ones at Fred Meyer’s are just citric acid and run off from Monsanto. Look at this $1 pack off the sale rack.
I also keep a pack in my Subaru for earthquakes and getting lost in the wilds of Wasilla. I must have bought them a long time ago as the price reads 19 cents!
Product number 4: Peppermint chocolates.
This part of the experiment has been most fulfilling. Ghirardelli?– NO! Too much packaging, too little peppermint. Lindt white chocolate peppermint balls – YES! Know that handsome beardless chef they have on their advertisements? Somehow the chocolate is as smooth and shiny as his face!
Chocolate peppermint bark from Walmart – okay but chocolate bark from Alaskan Sweet Things – MUCH BETTER. Walmart’s bark tastes like it could have been almond bark or toffee bark and they had some left over candy canes. It’s not even cheap. Alaskan Sweet Things is less smooth- thus less corporate, beautifully colored, tasty and uses -GLACIAL WATER, (perhaps from Anchorage taps).
I confess I would eat any of the above laying around but making your own white and dark chocolate peppermint bark is the best. See’s used to have some white peppermint truffles but I could not find them this year. They are GREAT! Andes After Chocolate Mints and York Peppermint Patties will do in a pinch. They don’t really say “Happy Holidays!” , more like, “All I could afford was these.”
Winners: Tie between Lindt White Chocolate Peppermint Balls and Alaskan Sweet Things White Chocolate Peppermint Bark.
Product number 5: Peppermint popcorn. Yes, it tastes good but it isn’t really worth it because as I get older everything sticks in my teeth.
Default winner: Boom Chicka Pop White chocolate peppermint popcorn
I have a headache now. Too much peppermint, sugar and Bold Italics. So much money and calories spent on research. I panicked and signed up for a “You can be a copywriter” website to increase my income and an Online Dating Site to improve my self esteem. I wonder what the flavor of 2019 will be. Any suggestions?