RE: Looking for the name of a candy
Mon, 12/17/07 6:26 PM
BEN & BILL,S VS. OLIVER’S
I recently bought Merriments type wafers from both Ben & Bill’s (Bar Harbor, ME) and Oliver’s (Batavia, NY; also sold by Vermont Country Store at marked up price), so I can now compare them and give advice. Ben & Bill’s is the winner, but Oliver’s does have its advantages.
ADVANTAGES OF BEN & BILL’S
1. B&B’s offers five colors/flavors: mint (white), wintergreen (pink), lime (green), lemon (yellow), and orange (orange). Oliver’s offers only four: you can’t get orange. (The original Merrimints came in all five flavors.
2. B&B’s green wafers are lime; Oliver’s are spearmint (a nicer flavor than mint). I prefer lime, and apparently most other people do too, although this is clearly a matter of personal taste.
3. B&B let you get any mix you want – one flavor, two, three, four, or five – in any proportions. If you like all flavors except white, you can omit the whites; and if you are especially fond of wintergreen (I am), you can get ½ pink, 1/6 green, 1/6, yellow, and 1/6 orange. Or you can order just three flavors: ½, 1/4, 1/4, or maybe 1/3, 1/3, 1/3 With Oliver’s you must accept a prepackaged mix containing equal amounts of all four flavors, including the whites (mint).
4. B&B’s come in one-row boxes (about the same row length as Oliver’s), so if you want a small order you don’t have to buy two rows. Oliver’s are prepackaged in two-row boxes.
ADVANTAGES OF OLIVER’S
1. If you prefer spearmint to lime, Oliver’s greens are spearmint.
2. Esthetically, Oliver’s are more like the original Delson’s Merrimints. Oliver’s has the Merrimint’s parallel grooves on top; B&B’s doesn’t. And Oliver’s are more perfectly round shaped, whereas my latest B&B’s order (but not earlier ones) had a lot of lopsided wafers.
3. Oliver’s have much better padding (prevents breakage) for mailing. The Oliver’s mailing box has two thick wraparound foam end-pieces into which the candy box ends are inserted, a foam piece at each end. The candy box has no contact with the walls of the mailing box. The B&B boxes had a thin, one-layer wrap of bubble wrap and came with a lot of breakage (although the breakage was probably due partly to cold weather and low winter humidity, which made the wafers brittle).
4. Theoretically, the grooves on the Oliver’s wafers, by reducing contact area between wafers, makes them less likely to stick together. My experience, however, suggests that heat (which creates softness and stickiness) and humidity (the wafers are moister, stickier) and probably age (the wafers dry out with age, becoming less sticky and more brittle) have more effect on sticking than the grooves do. My Oliver’s candies, mailed very fresh in fairly warm weather, had far more sticking together but far less breakage than the ungrooved B&B wafers did.