I’ve got a mint kick on. Continuing in that cool blue vein, I’ve come to Junior Mints – one of my favorite candies and the only reason I survived The Mummy Three: Rise of The Contents of My Stomach. Ironically, they were also the chief reason I consented to see the film in the first place. Love stinks, no? Such are the passions inspired by these delicate little rounds of pure joy.
A modest man, James O. Welch founded the James O. Welch Company of Cambridge Massachusetts in 1927, piddling away his days with brother Robert (who would later go on to found the John Birch Society of Notable Nutjobs) making fudge, trifle, treacle and tarts*. In 1949, James and Co. got the bright idea of basing a new mint confection around the then popular film (and book and radio series) “Junior Miss.” “Junior Mints” would be sold in theaters, taking advantage not only of the homophonic relationship between the name of the film and the confection itself, but also of the closely integrated “vend and watch” sales approach of movie houses. Really, we didn’t have a chance.
Still, a lousy product wouldn’t have survived more than half a century, right? God?
Indubitably, Junior Mints are the Shrimp on the Bar-B. Sure, they’re softer than a frog in a warm plate of water– a far cry from York Peppermint Patties and a distinction that confection prides itself upon— but I’ve always felt that reaching into a box of Junior Mints and pulling out a giant flotilla, mortared together by the focused gleam of cinema lights on the candy counter, is all part of the charm. Anyway, this phenomenon doesn’t affect the taste. Semi-sweet chocolate (is there any better? We all know what you do with those bags of chocolate chips when you’re not in the mood for cookies) and gooey, thick peppermint crème is one flavor combination that’ll always put a smile on my face no matter how much self-loathing I accrue sitting through your average Hollywood slag-fest, knowing I shelled double digit dollars in it’s honor. I dare say, it might even all be worth it when those lights come down and I’m in the dark with Junior Mints.