Wednesday, February 23, 2011

More Than Freshmaking, I Assure You

I'm not generally a fan of Mentos.

Why? I'm not a fan of hypermint candies or gums. The taste that replicates cell death due to exposure to cold does not generally appeal to me. I'm not suggesting that I'm a supertaster and that the flavor actually hurts: I just mean that real mint is nice, and laboratory-synthesized mint is not. To me.

And in SE Asia, there are other flavors of Mentos, to my wife's delight. She likes the regular stuff and was downing it with alarming frequency throughout Indonesia. I don't know if that was a coping mechanism with the heat or just gave her jaw and papillae something to do. But here, it also comes in grape and pineapple and mixed fruit varieties. It even comes in a sour version of the mixed fruit variety, but candy's bad enough for your teeth with all the sugar, without introducing industrial-grade citric acid to erode your enamel.

That said, SE Asia has introduced new concepts of Mentos to me. I don't know if these are available in the States--maybe they are and I'm well behind the times--or they're entirely Asian domain and the States can only lust after them from great distance. I'll grant you 4,000 miles is a long way to pick up cola-flavored Mentos.

You heard me right: Mentos that carries the rich tang of the cola nut. It will remind you of RC Cola gone flat, or Coca-Cola syrup if you've been lucky enough to sample it prior to carbonization, and it does not have a shred of mint in it. It's just a hard, chewy candy that bursts with cola concentrate! I liked it a lot.

But when I saw Mentos X, I was sufficiently intrigued to try this as well. All other Mentos comes in a foil roll covered in paper, but not Mentos X. The candies are wrapped in foil, rolled in paper, and then sealed in a long and dense plastic packet like a glowstick might come in. Why? Because Mentos X has to contend with unnatural forces that would defeat regular packaging.

Mentos X tastes like Red Bull. And not the crappy, acidic blue-and-silver bubbly concoction we have in the States. It tastes like the serious, medicinal/apple, uncarbonated syrup that is the original Thai Red Bull. Oh, yes.

Does it contain taurine? Does it give you wings? Does it abuse your metabolism like a teenager discovering onanism? I can't answer these questions, but I can tell you I would buy it again if I found it anywhere else besides one tiny island off another, larger Indonesian island. I've only seen it in the one place and I'm grateful for the experience...

And yet, and yet...

No comments: