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Reviews: Food (energy)

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Kendal Mint Cake (thread)
Rating: *****   (Average: *****  from 2 votes)
By Darron Speck on Thu 27 Sep 2012 15:26 (US/Pacific) Edit Delete   Reply (4)   Printable Relation | Link | Bookmark | Report

I don't know what people out there think of Kendal mint cake, but I think it's just great.

Especially the chocolate covered one.

It keep in date for ages, and I would never leave for a tour, or even a long day out, without a couple of bars. They are a great energy boost either to keep your energy up or a boost when you are flagging.

#2: Re: Kendal Mint Cake (thread)
By Robert Ewing on Fri 28 Sep 2012 07:14 Edit Delete in reply to #1     Reply (1)   Printable Relation | Link | Bookmark | Report
I took a Kendal Mint Cake on an extended back packing trek in the Cascade Mountains decades ago. After over a week on the trail I don't think I managed to eat more than a quarter of it. I found it to be gaggingly sweet with an overwhelming peppermint flavor. On the other hand they are pure energy.

These days near the end of a long day's ride you will find me fueling my way into camp on dark chocolate, preferably adult strength 70%+ cacao. I have been know to start a tour with half a kilo of the dark, somewhat bitter, confection stored away in my larder.


#3: Re: Kendal Mint Cake (thread)
By Darron Speck on Fri 28 Sep 2012 10:01 Edit Delete in reply to #2     Reply   Printable Relation | Link | Bookmark | Report
I know what you mean, but I would say it has come a long way since then with it being a little more refined now.

It still can be very sweet if you eat too much, but the dark chocolate covering balances the sweetness out nicely.

I still think it keeps my energy levels up more than most things I have tried and would reccommend anyone to give it a go, especially the chocolate covered ones.

I believe it is part of the army ration packs, but don't quote me on that.

#4: Re: Kendal Mint Cake (thread)
By Al Cyone on Fri 28 Sep 2012 10:18 Edit Delete in reply to #1     Reply   Printable Relation | Link | Bookmark | Report
Wow, I haven't thought of these in decades. I tried one once and probably first heard about it from the late, great Colin Fletcher's book, The Complete Walker. Though, according this article from the San Francisco Chronicle, he gave them up and didn't mention them in later editions of his book. Still, I'm glad to see they're still available.

Here's the opening paragraph (from the article) as a teaser:

"In the early 1970s, a cloyingly sweet confection made in England's Lake District -- Wilson's Celebrated Original Kendal Mint Cake -- enjoyed a brief, and puzzling, spike in sales in the United States. Even more mystifying, the orders weren't coming from candy stores, but from shops that sold sleeping bags and hiking boots."

#5: Re: Kendal Mint Cake (thread)
Rating: ***** 
By Neil Gunton (admin) on Fri 28 Sep 2012 10:58 Edit Delete in reply to #1     Reply (1)   Printable Relation | Link | Bookmark | Report
Hah, I remember getting this from the source when we went to visit the Lake District in the UK as I was growing up. It is indeed just basically pure sugar with peppermint oil flavoring, and as such I absolutely loved it. The chocolate covered version is also great. I'm not sure what the science is behind whether this type of pure, simple sugar is actually all that good for you or not (probably not, if you're talking about life at home), but as an emergency energy source or quick hit in need, I can't see how you could go wrong. And it does keep very well (the chocolate might melt, but the plain one wouldn't).

A more complex carbohydrate such as nuts or other wholegrains will be broken down less quickly by the body, and so might give a bit less of the "sugar high/sugar crash" effect, but I think this certainly has its place in the bicycle tourist's pannier.


#6: Re: Kendal Mint Cake (thread)
By Brian Huntley on Sat 29 Sep 2012 23:25 Edit Delete in reply to #5     Reply (1)   Printable Relation | Link | Bookmark | Report
Peppermint oil flavoured corn syrup brittle with oats and cashews? I'd try it, but I really like those Polish-made Sesame Snaps. Fibre, essential oils, honey, HFCS. Maybe a dash of salt. Mmm.

#7: Re: Kendal Mint Cake (thread)
By Dave Butansky on Sun 30 Sep 2012 07:50 Edit Delete in reply to #6     Reply   Printable Relation | Link | Bookmark | Report
Actually it is glucose, dissolved in saliva or drinking water it is instant shock fuel which is directly burned in body cells without any intermediate metabolization required.

#8: Re: Kendal Mint Cake (thread)
By Mick Jennings on Thu 4 Oct 2012 20:04 Edit Delete in reply to #1     Reply   Printable Relation | Link | Bookmark | Report
Darron, I remember that stuff from hiking in the Lake District and the Pennines back in the early 1960s. You could feel the enamel on your teeth dissolve with every mouthful. There is a similar product over the border, Scotch Tablet. This is just caramelised sugar in a bar, without the refinement of the mint flavour. Yeucch. As Dave says though, it should do the job for the Hunger Knock.


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