My dad used to keep peppermints in his pocket. On cross-country drives in particular, I remember the radio tuned to a baseball game; the family playing license-plate bingo; chatting about the things we were passing by; and the occasional wrapper crinkle of a sugary niblet smoothly and quickly maneuvered from pocket to mouth. The sweets were a good hunger reliever, handy to pass the time, but they also helped Dad cut down on his smoking.
So, a lot of hard candy gratitude and nostalgia goes into eating a peppermint for me. Layer on peppermint’s presence as the ghost of Christmas candy, and that little sucker has the ability to pack a hefty emotional punch!
But then there are also the taste-based factors. I’m not a fan of the airy peppermints. My hard candy needs to be dense. Hard means hard.
Buying peppermints is not a guaranteed slam dunk.
However, as you can see, TJ’s version has claimed a place at the Things I Love table. The peppermints are small, dense and the flavor is resonant. Really, they’re delicious and almost unseasonable to eat in summer – they’re that Christmasy tasting.
They’re the perfect kind of peppermint. The kind Dad would like.
Thanks for the memories and mints, TJ’s.
Follow Things I Love at Trader Joe’s on Twitter: @TraderJoesKC
Follow Things I Love at Trader Joe’s on Pinterest: Trader Joe’s