One thing that my mother brought over to Florida at Christmas, which was very popular, were some fresh supplies of Kendal Mint Cake. Mint cake is a form of confectionary made in my home town, for those who don’t know. Although it’s called “cake” it comes in the form of a bar and has a harder, more sugary texture than cake. It is also very minty, as its name suggests.
Anyway, my wife loves the stuff and although you can buy it here in the US, you have to order it via someone like Amazon and it’s expensive when bought that way (although I believe there are some slightly cheaper sources on eBay).
I actually worked in a mint cake factory one time as a summer job during my teenage years. My main job was to break up broken mint cake bars into bite-sized chunks and put them into gift boxes. There are three mint cake factories in Kendal: Quiggin’s, Romney’s, and Wilson’s. I worked at Wilson’s. The guy who ran it was called Andrew, but he was also known by some of the staff as, “Young Mr Wilson”. His father, who was retired but still dropped by sometimes, was called, “Old Mr Wilson”. Old Mr Wilson was the son of James, the guy who founded the Wilson’s brand back in 1913 (they would’ve probably called him “Ancient Mr Wilson”, were he still alive!).
There are three main types of mint cake: white, brown, and chocolate coated. The colour and texture of the mint cake is decided by whether white or brown sugar is used in it.
|Some of the mint cake my mother brought us|
If you say that you are from Kendal to someone in the UK, they will sometimes mention Kendal Mint Cake. Mint cake is also eaten a lot by mountaineers and artic explorers around the world, as it is a concentrated source of glucose (plus the mint clears your sinuses!) Kendal Mint Cake has been taken up Mount Everest by Edmund Hilary and across the Antarctic by Sir Ernest Shackleton.
Here ends my lesson on my home town’s most famous confectionary. But remember, if you ever come to Florida via Kendal to visit us, bring us some mint cake!
Jack Dee is EVIL!!!