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Nestle Original Polo Mints!! Where do I start first? Well that's easy, just pop one in your mouth and savour the sweet, fresh, mint flavoured candy. No, seriously, many adults will remember growing up with the Polo Mint, I do. The Polo Mint is one of those childhood favourites that generate happy memories and is an enduring, favourite sweet which sells in its millions, over £41 million to be precise annually, and is loved equally by children and adults today.
Now once again where do I start? That's easy!
In the beginning...
Confectioners, Rowntree originally opened a tea and coffee shop in York in 1725 selling their wares to the British public. By 1948 their range of confectionery had become extremely popular in the UK by which time they launched the Polo mint. These lifebelt shaped mints were similar to the American Lifesavers and the British Navy Sweets Company's Navy mints, but Rowntree boldly moved to the fore of the market with their slogan The Mint With The Hole which is now one of the best known in the UK. Rowntree later merged with Mackintosh and the Swiss owned international company Nestle bought the joint company in 1988.
In 1867, Henri Nestlé founded a small business in Switzerland and began setting up factories in other countries. A branch first came to Britain in 1868 and by 1905 had merged with the Anglo-Swiss Condensed Milk Company. Nestle are also known for its vast range of food products and confectionery especially chocolate, cereals and coffee (I'm sure you are aware Nescafé is a Nestle product).
Trivia facts. Nestle now manufactures Polo Mint - Original. 38 million Polo's are produced every day and It takes the equivelent weight of two elephants to press a Polo mint. Polo's name is derived from the word 'Polar', which suggests the coolness in the mouth from the crisp minty taste. 147 of these delightful mints are consumed every second.
The 23 chomp-able lifebelt shaped hard-pressed sweets with a small hole cut through the centre forming The Mint With The Hole with the word POLO embossed twice on one face nestle (sorry for the pun) inside the foiled wrapper. The aroma is a strong, fresh, mint smell, which you notice when unwrapping the foil. Popping one into your mouth is a delight, the hard mint tablets although not overly sweet can be crunched and pulverised to quickly release the robust mint flavour or if you are like me, prefers to tease the mint with your tongue until it melts away leaving a cool lingering aftertaste that refreshes the mouth and breath.
As a child I would twirl the sweet around my tongue waiting for it to dissolve away into nothing reducing the thickness making it as thin as possible trying not to break it. Now don't deny it, I would wager you and your friends would compete to see who's polo melted first (approx five minutes) or who could suck the sweet to the thinnest before it broke. I did!
I find them addictive and can easily consume a pack within a morning but be warned when you have been eating Polo's like with all mints, wait a while before you eat or drink other food stuffs as the intense mint flavour that lingers in your mouth would make food and beverages taste strange. As with all confectionery the sugar contained within can be unhealthy for your teeth.
The Polo is ideal for smokers not only does it reduce the residual smell of smoke upon their breath but helps to employ your mouth if you are attempting to give up or you are within no smoking areas.
In a day and age where nutrition has become important there unfortunately are no nutritional details listed on the pack although a visit to the Nestle web site can remedy that but Polo is suitable for vegetarians. Weight watching consumers can enjoy the Polo Mint too. A full packet of 20 sweets is only 125 Kcal or even the Sugar Free version, which contain even less. To save you from searching out the info on the web site, here is it Nutritional Values per 4 sweets: Energy 104KJ, 25 Kcal, Protein: nil, Carbohydrate: 5.9g, of which are sugars: 5.7g, Fat: 0.1g, of which are saturates: 0.1 g, Fibre and sodium are both nil.
A packet of Polo's will cost about £0.45 per packet and are available virtually everywhere within the UK.
Over the years Rowntree and Nestlé designed variations of the Original Polo mint. Some were successful like the four above varieties but many of the others were not. But despite the different variations none have been as successful and much loved as the Original Polo mint.
Other varieties available in the shops are:
Spearmint: originally used to be found with the turquoise tinted almost sparkly flecks and a strong spearmint flavour and aroma however due to these flecks containing E numbers Nestlé changed them to plain white.
Fruit: Multicoloured boiled sugar sweets in the normal Polo shape but flavoured with several fruits all in one tube. The flavours include strawberry, blackcurrant, orange, lemon, and lime.
Sugar free: A sugar free alternative to the original flavours, which are ideal for kids and diabetics but do contain sorbitol. Sorbitol has been known for it's laxative effect on some people.
Polo Holes: The original flavoured pressed mint in the shape of the hole from the middle of the sweet which usually came in a small plastic tube approx half the size of the polo package itself. The holes actually do fit a Polo Mint. This silly boozma tried it.
Mini Strong Polo's: Tiny Polo shapes with an extra strong taste supplied in a white plastic flip open Polo Mint shaped box. Beware these are very strong.
The Mint With The Hole? Yes please, The Mint The Hole Mint and Nothing But The Mint!
Thank you for reading
Christine Preedy (c) 2010
You can also find this review published in Ciao uk under my username of melodysparks