About a month ago, I discovered this delicious little treat at our local health food store: Honey Mint Patties from Honey Acres farm in Wisconsin. They’re gluten free, dairy free… actually, they’re pretty much free of everything, seeing as there is a grand total of 3 ingredients!
Unsweetened chocolate, honey, and oil of peppermint.
Compared to York: Sugar, corn syrup, semi-sweet chocolate (chocolate, sugar, cocoa, milk fat, cocoa butter, soy lecithin, PGPR emulsifier, vanillan, artificial flavor), invert sugar, egg whites, oil of peppermint, milk.
Hershey doesn’t list allergens, but what do I see? Contains: Soy, eggs, and milk.
PGPR stands for polyglycerol polyricinoleate. It’s usually made from castor bean oils and apparently helps chocolate makers reduce the cost of raw material. May I point out that I’ve never seen this ingredient in high end and/or organic chocolates? Center for Science in the Public Interest does say the additive is at least safe, but why eat additives that you don’t need to eat?
Take a look at these yummy treats from Honey Acres:
As you can see, the inside of these patties is golden from the honey, unlike the bright whiteness of York.
I’m sure the price varies from location to location. I paid $1.59 for a package of 3. Now when comparing to York, where you can get a huge family-size bag, about 42 patties, for $5-$6 dollars (at least where I live), $1.59 is pretty steep for 3 patties. And they’re no bigger than the snack size York patties either.
Here’s the difference. Three Honey Mints is plenty. Sometimes, more than enough. I often wrap up the third mint to savor later. At first, I wasn’t sure I’d like the unsweetened chocolate. Yes, York uses Dark which isn’t as sweet as Milk…. but it’s still sweeter than unsweetened chocolate! However, the unsweetened chocolate blends perfectly with the honey and peppermint. Sweetened chocolate on these Honey Mints would be too much.
With York — can you stop at 3 miniatures? Three is the serving size for these same-sized mints…. but stopping at 3? Not that easy. I want to keep eating them. I finally stuck the bag in the freezer (I like them better cold in any case), but hoped “out of sight, out of mind” would do the trick. It…. sort of worked. But they’re addicting! And I think the corn syrup (even though it’s not HFCS!) is part of the problem.
I’ve long believed that the food industry over sweetens foods to keep us eating more and buying more – long past the point of satiety. Back when we used to forage for food, what was hard to get? Salt, sugar, fat. Had to work for it, maybe trade for it…. now we can get it any and everywhere… and where once upon a time the craving couldn’t hurt us because we (we as in humans) couldn’t just go find these addictive substances all year long, or even in all areas … now we can. And as with any addicting substance..once you start, it’s hard to stop. I’m sorry to say I’m on my 2nd bag of York, although thankfully only the first of the big bags.
York also leaves a . . . sticky, gooey aftertaste and feeling in my mouth that I did not experience with the Honey Mints. I think it’s all the extra sugar… and too many York patties in one day tends to give me a nasty headache.
I’ve not discovered any bad side effects from Honey Mints.
Bottom line? If you’re looking for a gluten free treat, either of these should be fine, but always check the ingredient list! Hershey does not label “gluten free”, you have to know what you’re looking at on the packaging. And, if I need a quick treat on the road, I know I can grab a York and not get glutened. I even read a review of York on one site where a man said eating them helped ease gluten-induced cramping and stomach issues …. but you can find peppermint oil in other products than York… with far less of the unhealthy ingredients York offers you.
If you want a chocolate mint patty that is truly tasty and doesn’t have any unnecessary (and unhealthy) ingredients? Try to find yourself a package from Honey Mint Acres. It’s well worth the cost. And, unlike York, they’re dairy free too.