RE: Looking for the name of a candy
Sun, 11/5/06 12:15 AM
MerriMints were a favorite in our Williamstown, WV household in the 1960s. We purchased them at the Big Bear grocery store in Marietta, Ohio. My brother and I both associate these mints with our late father who bought MerriMints regularly. During the past decade we have periodically searched the Internet for information about MerriMints and have exhausted the conversation several times. Recently my brother resurrected the MerriMints discussion. That’s when we found this site with eight (now nine)pages of posts about MerriMints! Over the years, I pieced together some information that I think will be of interest to this group.
I believe this information is very reliable.
MerriMints were made by the Delson Candy Company of New York, New York. On the front of the green and white oblong box with the cellophane window, it said Delson MerriMints. They were round, semi-soft candy wafers, about 2-inch disks with ridges on the bottom of each mint. They were made in five flavors, peppermint, wintergreen, spearmint, lemon and orange, each flavor with its own color, white, pink, green, yellow and orange.
The mints were grouped by color and stood on end in a single row in the box, their edges resting on top of a piece of white corrugated confectionary paper that mimicked the corrugated ridges on the bottoms of the candies themselves. There was another piece of that corrugated, white, confectionary paper between each color group of mints. This company also made Delson Thin Mints, a chocolate covered mint patty, probably the item referred to in a recent post.
Delson Thin Mints (the chocolate covered patties) were the subject of litigation filed against Delson Candy by the US Government in what was only the government's fourth attempt to enforce 403D of the Fair Packaging and Labeling Act. Apparently, the government claimed the package looked like it contained more than it did because of the dividers between sections of candy. I do not know the outcome of that case but based on the similar packaging of Merrimints, I suspect the government failed to make its case (as it had in the previous three attempts to enforce the Act with three other manufacturers).
Anyway . . .
Delson Candy Company, based in New York, New York, was owned by Charles R. Adelson who was honored as the “Candy Industry Man of the Year” in 1952. Candy Industry Magazine created this award (a.k.a. the Kettle Award) in 1946 as a token recognition of the contribution for the “great or good” of the industry … The first recipient of this award was Russell Stover so this was not an insignificant honor.
Charles Adelson, Delson’s owner, had a daughter Ethel. In 1948 Ethel married Armin Schaper. Armin was a WWII decorated US Navy submarine bomber pilot. At some point Armin Schaper joined his brother-in-law, Richard Adelson, an engineer, and Charles Adelson's son, in the Delson candy business. Mr. Shaper was a sales/marketing and advertising talent. He was the recipient of the above mentioned Kettle Award in 1967. Mr. Schaper, deceased only since August 1, 2006, became Senior VP of the Sara Lee Corporation, after Sara Lee bought Delson Candy in 1968.
So, the original recipe was in the hands of the Sara Lee Corporation at that time. Reportedly, they subsequently sold the Delson interest to an unknown party.
For those who are experimenting with making their own . . . The following is not fact but rather just an opinion from someone who has been cooking for over 40 years.
I don’t think the commercially marketed MerriMints had any butter in them, or much fat at all for that matter.
I suspect these candies all got their flavor from flavoring oils which are several times stronger than extracts. Extracts are diluted, usually with alcohol. I find it interesting that while not all flavoring oils are natural, the five flavors of Merrimints are all available in a natural flavoring oil.
Do you remember that the orange and yellow ones were a bit creamier (or less grainy) than the rest? I suspect this is because citrus oil flavors are slightly less intense than mint oil flavors. It may require just a bit more citrus flavoring oil, than mint oil, to create the desired strength in taste. The additional amount of flavoring oil in the lemon and orange, and/or the citrus property of the oil, may slightly alter the texture of the candy. Just a thought . . .