Wednesday, June 7, 2006

Pastiglie Leone

One of the great things about my trip to New York, long before the All Candy Expo was that I got to visit Economy Candy, which was great prep. It gave me a chance to look at the huge array of candy, including may European ones that just don’t get distributed here in the states.

There’s quite a difference in candies here and there. But part of the charm of the imported ones is that they’re so different from what we have here.


I thought these would be tiny Altoids, but aside from the appearance of looking like inconsistent pieces of chalk, they’re quite the opposite of Altoids.

One of the main ingredients besides sugar are the gums and thickening agents. One of these is called Tragacanth (which, I found out is not at all related to the living fossil fish the coelocanth). Besides having a cool sounding name, it seems to be add a rather interesting texture to the mints. They’re not chalky but very smooth when they dissolve. They have an almost gooey consistency as they dissintigrate that feels like a glycerine syrup or gelatin.

The fruit ones are pretty and look kind of like little, lumpy conversation hearts discards. They’re about the size of an eraser you’d find on the end of a pencil. The Green Tea ones, not pictured, are a bland brownish-red but have a radically charged bitter tea taste to them. They don’t taste anything like green tea in my mind. More like black tea, but without the wonderful complex aromas. There’s also a strong component of mint at work here. They’re not terribly sweet, more flavorful and long after the bitter taste on the front of the tongue is gone, there’s a pleasant, refreshing taste left in the mouth. (Not at all like lingering tea breath.)

The other interesting thing about these pastilles is that the boxes are identical. There’s a paper overwrap (as shown on the Green Tea one) but once you take it off it looks like the one on its side, you don’t know what’s in there if you have more than one box!

The mixed flavors one went something like this:

Lavender - Violet. It reminded me of flowers, of course, it’s sweet without being sticky. There’s an American version of this from C. Howard which is very similar.

Yellow - Lemon. Very pleasant. An equal mix of the essence of lemon but with a slight tart bite to it that reminded me of a conversation heart, only about 10 times the price.

Green - Lime. Sweet and also with a slight tangy edge to it. It didn’t have any of the associations with disinfectants, which is good!

Pink - Strawberry. Beautifully fragrant, with nice floral overtones, like standing at the edge of a strawberry field, but with fewer bees. Only a slight tangy element here and it didn’t feel artificial at all.

White - Vanilla? I’m not quite sure on the flavor on this one. It was pleasant and bland, but no real flavor. I couldn’t tell if I’d burned out my tongue with the other flavors.

Pastiglie Leone has a beautiful, if strangely programmed website. The products flash by or you scroll horizontally (one of my least favorite directions to scroll) but there are so many different varieties.

Overall, I loved the texture and the way that the pastilles dissolved. But I never really loved any of the flavors. The tartness or tang to some of them was refreshing, but I found the flavor overall to be a little washed out like the colors. Not something I’d buy again unless one of the flavors really caught my eye. (I’m a sucker for a classic package like this.) In a world where everything has become blisteringly strong, it’s kind of nice for a little mellow.

Name: Pastiglie Leone - Mixed Flavors & Green Tea
  • 10 SUPERB
  • 9 YUMMY
  • 8 TASTY
  • 7 WORTH IT
  • 4 BENIGN
Brand: Pastiglie Leone
Place Purchased: Economy Candy (NYC)
Price: $2.99 each
Size: 1 ounce
Calories per ounce: unknown
Categories: Mint, Italy

POSTED BY Cybele AT 3:10 am Tracker Pixel for Entry    

  1. Just a heads up not to eat too many of the Pastiglie Leone Lozenges at once - they are often recommended as a digestive to help settle the stomach after a rich meal (much like mint gum).  Wonderful but don’t overdo!

    Comment by Kasha on 6/09/06 at 7:34 am #
  2. just wanted to point out that the right spelling is PastiGLIE not PastiGILE, which doesn’t mean anything in Italian smile
    great blog!

    Comment by fiordizucca on 6/13/06 at 10:00 am #
  3. Cybele's avatar

    Kasha - thanks for the heads up, I’ve been parceling them out to myself pretty well. I can’t imagine eating too many of the tea ones because of the bitterness!

    fiordizucca - thanks for the correction - seems I was very consistent with my typo! (the hazards of cut & paste). Sounds like it’s about time for me to bump up the font size on my monitor or get glasses.

    Comment by Cybele on 6/13/06 at 10:07 am #
  4. I found these at CostPlus for about $1.50 a box.  The cinnamon ones are addictive.  The are like red hots, but better.  If you eat enough at once you can achieve a very stimulating burning sensation!

    Comment by Allie on 7/29/07 at 9:15 am #
  5. Thanks for the great info.  I bought a little box of Pastiglie Leone mints while in Italy a couple of weeks ago, just because the packaging was so unique and ethnic.  I was glad to find your site telling about them, as I was hesitant to taste them lest they be a laxative or something, ha ha.  Not bad.  Thanks again.

    Comment by Gary on 8/08/07 at 10:14 am #
  6. Where else can you find these in USA?  My boss brought it back from her vacation trip.  I wanted to purchase more but the Pastiglie Leone website is not set up for shopping yet. I checked the CostPlus website, but came up with a dead end when I did a search.


    Comment by Suzette on 10/07/07 at 10:52 am #
  7. Cybele's avatar

    Suzette - I got these in person at Economy Candy, but they do have web ordering:

    I’ve also seen them at Italian delis, but I’m not sure about how many of those there are in your area!

    Comment by Cybele on 10/07/07 at 11:05 am #
  8. I just found the cinnamon Leone Candy Originals at World Market in Illinois….I ate all the candy within a few minutes…taste great…no side effect.
    I’m going to include them as a treat for all the guests at the Pasfield House Inn in Springfield Illinois USA visit

    Tony Leone

    Comment by Anthony J Leone, Jr on 12/19/07 at 6:23 pm #
  9. I found these at Epcot in the Italy pavillion and my friend told me they were pretty good. I got the lemon ones. They are pretty tasty little devils and now that I know they help tame an upset stomach…I will definately have these little bugger in my purse at all times. Plus…I found that they help soothe a horse voice after a long day of talking.

    Comment by darlene on 12/25/07 at 6:49 am #
  10. I am glad to see that you have found Leone Candies and are enjoying them. We are the exclusive importers of Leone here in the US. They have redone their packaging for us within the last few months and we are beginning to get more distribution on the product. If you cannot find the products in your city, you can always go to and order them there.

    It is a great company, with outstanding product and fabulous packaging…

    Comment by Mick Sidari on 2/10/08 at 4:29 pm #
  11. heads up - the cinnamon flavor contains natural dye from bugs - I am not sure about the other flavors - so hopefully no one has a problem with that!

    Comment by hannah on 10/25/08 at 6:26 pm #
  12. Seriously addict to cinnamon (Leone) ! the only candies I’m crazy of.
    Someone says “no problem with that”... what about 50 per day ?

    Comment by G@ttoGiallo on 11/22/08 at 3:39 pm #
  13. Looking for a shop to buy it in London


    Comment by carole on 4/15/09 at 6:58 am #
  14. i found these mints for $1/box on chestnut street in san francisco, it’s a tiny bakery and candy store in the middle of chestnut called “miette”.

    Comment by imma on 6/14/09 at 9:57 am #
  15. Just finished my first and hopefully not last can of - Violetta—They are just wonderful.  I’ll be on the look out for them in Philadelphia.  Any suggestions as to where would be appreciated.

    Comment by cam on 8/06/09 at 6:52 am #
  16. You can by them in London at Carluccio’s restaurant/deli in Canary Wharf.  Lovely!

    Comment by Tricky on 10/06/09 at 5:48 am #
  17. Friends,
    I would highly recommend (Tutti!) the Polar Strong Leone Mint, if you have a bad sinus infection or a cold. They are better than any Halls. These Leone Polars taste like a strong mint and anise flavor with a menthol effect. I had a hard time breathing and was coughing way too much. I took one and it cleared me out the whole morning. I bought mine at Dean and Deluca for a whopping $4.00 on 85th street and 5th. At the time I didn’t consider going to Economy Candy…but now that’s a different. We also bought the Gingerbread flavor, too. They are true to flavor!
    Have a delicious New Year!

    Comment by Rachael Goldman on 1/04/10 at 1:05 pm #
  18. I found the mixed flavors one in Miette, an adorable candy shop in San Francisco. The white one tastes like licorice.

    Comment by Christine on 4/27/10 at 6:31 pm #
  19. I bought some of the orange blossom flavored ones and LOVE them. Got them at dean & deluca for $4 which seemed like a lot at the time but now totally worth it. Amazing packaging.

    Comment by ArchitectDesign on 5/11/10 at 10:21 am #
  20. I bought the Tuareg Green Tea and ended up throwing them away. Ugh. The best part was the beautiful wrapper. I also bought (and subsequently threw away) the Absinthe flavored.

    BUT, this past Christmas I found “The Christmas Candy Originals sweet relish of cookie” flavor, and they are the most amazing things in the world. (Perhaps I exaggerated, but not by much.)

    Comment by Nycteris on 5/19/10 at 11:33 am #
  21. Hi! I own a shop in South Miami Fl. and we sell Leone Candies! Our shop is a life sized dollhouse and in each room of the dollhouse we have merchandise for that room. The kitchen is where you can find the Leone’s and they are the best sellers! We love them and are addicted to them smile

    Comment by Veronica on 11/17/10 at 10:07 am #
  22. just bought a box of the raspberry lozenges today. what an i say yum and the packaging is so gorgeous !

    Comment by jackie on 8/02/11 at 3:18 pm #
  23. You can get a small assortment at the IGA in Gilbert St Adelaide. The Violet ones are not as nice as Parma Violets but still lovely to have on hand.

    Comment by paperwhite on 9/20/11 at 10:35 pm #
  24. Hi, I was recently at an Distribution Outlet in Melbourne, Autralia. And they had sone Sweet Containers. Clear in Volume with a gorgeous Gold Lid! The Suppliers told me thaey where purchased in Italy? They Had your Name printed on the outside of the containers. I was wondering if I could purchase some of these? Would you have any pictures, so I could verify that these where the right ones. The Containers where at Raw Materials In Footsgray. Many Thanks Leeanne Campana

    Comment by Leeanne Campana on 11/25/13 at 6:20 pm #
  25. what happens if you eat too many? do you become ill

    Comment by scarlett on 2/20/17 at 3:59 pm #
  26. I found a bunch of these out here in Boise. They’re at Lolli and Pops candy shop in the Boise mall. I recommend these to anyone who loves Minty fresh breath! The fruity ones are pretty good too.

    Comment by Kenyon Flack on 6/07/17 at 12:02 pm #
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