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After Dinner Mints

Sweets and Toffee

Mint sweets intended to be eaten after a meal.

After Dinner Mint
Image: www.beechsfinechocolates.com

Mint has long been held to be 'stomatic' and John Evelyn's 'Acetaria: A Discourse of Sallets' of 1699 (Evelyn 1699) gives; "Mint, Mentha; the Angustifolia Spicata, Spear-Mint; dry and warm, very fragrant, a little press'd, is friendly to the weak Stomach, and powerful against all Nervous Crudities".

ADM were formerly in various forms, but are now most commonly chocolate pieces with either a mint fondant centre or mint sugar chips. The most popular branded type 'After Eight' were introduced in 1962 by the chocolate business first established in 1725 by the Quaker, Mary Tuke and taken over by Henry Isaac Rowntree in 1862. The pious Rowntree family were noted social reformers, there's more information at Spare Rib Pie. Other chocolate ADM forms are made by Beech's in Preston and by the Royal Warrant holders, Bendicks.

Original Receipt from 'The Essex Newsman', Christmas Day 1926

Home-Made Sweets.
Christmas is the children's feast and therefore sweets are highly important. But there is one sweet that will also be interesting to grown-ups, and it has the cardinal virtue in these particular circumstances, that it rather aid to digestion than a hindrance. I refer, of course, to after dinner mints.

To make them take
3 cups of sugar.
1/4 teaspoon cream of tartar.
1/2 cup boiling water.
1/2 tablespoon vinegar.
2 drops oil of peppermint.

Put all the ingredients except the peppermint in a saucepan, bring to the boiling point, and let boil without stirring until the mixture becomes brittle when tried in cold water. Pour on a large buttered plate. When the edges have cooled, fold towards the centre, and as soon as the mixture can be handled pull it until it is white, adding the peppermint during the process. Cut small pieces (scissors will do it) into a bowl containing powdered sugar, and stir until coated with the sugar. Then put into a glass jar, cover, and let stand long as possible before eating.

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