Thursday, December 9, 2010
Haviland Dark Chocolate Covered Thin Mints
Necco has been doing a lot in the past three years. One of the more exciting ventures have been re-inventing the classic brands and recipes with all natural, high quality ingredients. It started with the All Natural Necco Wafers and then the Clark Bar in Milk Chocolate and Dark Chocolate.
Now Necco has reinvigorated the Haviland Brand. The chocolate company has a long history but for most of my childhood and early adulthood the company was owned by Borden (more history here) and most of the candy I saw from them was a kind of off-brand of chocolate comfort candies like Thin Mints, Bridge Mix, Non Nonpareils and fruit creams. Necco purchased the company in 1994 and aside from moving the factory, things pretty much stayed the same. But even with its sort of mousy look and mediocre positioning on store shelves, the price couldn’t be beat. The boxes of Haviland Thin Mints are often on sale for only $1.00. Yet I never bought them.
This year they really caught my eye though (I had the heads up from Necco folks a few months ago to look for them). Not only are the new Haviland Dark Chocolate Covered Thin Mints all natural, they’re also using 63% cacao. (And they’re Kosher but no statement on gluten on the package.) Sorry, they contain both milk and egg whites so they’re not vegan.
The narrow little box holds a brown plastic tray with the patties stored on their sides like vinyl albums. The tray is a bit flimsy and filmy but I admit that it does the job. It’s not really nice enough to serve from, like say an After Eight Mint Box, but they’re easy enough to take out and place on a plate. All 21 of my little chocolate disks were intact. The box has a little tab on the end that helps to close it up after serving.
The patties are 1.33 to 1.5 inches around and very thin. The minty center is somewhere between the crumbly York Peppermint Pattie and the gooey Junior Mint. The center has a little stringy pull when broken in half, but will stay put and not ooze like a Junior Mint.
The dark chocolate is creamy and sweet but still has a good bitter and roasted note to it. The mint center is strong and pleasant, not too much but enough to linger long after the candy is gone.
The regular price for the 5 ounce box seems to be about a dollar fifty but they’ve been on sale a lot with the Christmas merchandise. They’re a really good deal for a quality product. If you love York Peppermint Patties but have been avoiding them because they’re made in Mexico now, this might be the American company to support.
They also come in Raspberry and Orange which I’ve purchased but haven’t photographed yet.
Meticulously photographed and documented reviews of candy from around the world. And the occasional other sweet adventures. Open your mouth, expand your mind.