Chocolate has a long and rich history. The Mayans consumed it as a beverage (unsweetened) and called it "the drink of the gods." The Spanish discovered the drink in the 1500s, and soon it spread around the world. Once milk and sugar were added to the mix, it became increasingly popular.
Adding mint to chocolate didn't happen until sometime in the 19th century. Then, in 1940, York Peppermint Patties were introduced by the York Cone Company (now owned by Hershey), and the pairing of flavors became a sensation!
Created by the United States National Confectioners Association, this day gives chocolate mint lovers a proper excuse to enjoy their favorite treat all day long!
Whether you favor chocolate, mint, or the combination of the two, here are five fun ways to help you celebrate National Chocolate Mint Day on February 19.
1. Start with a giggle.
This joke is mint to make you laugh out loud!
Q. How do scientists freshen their breath?
A. With experi-mints!
2. Support your local Girl Scout.
The Girl Scouts began selling Thin Mints in 1953, so this is the 70th anniversary of the classic cookie. Now is the perfect time to buy a box or two — or twelve! And while you're at it, you might as well add some Samoas, Tagalongs, and Trefoils to your order!
Interestingly, your Thin Mints will look and taste a little different from the ones ordered in parts of California, Texas, or New Mexico. The Girls Scouts use two separate bakers to produce their 200 million+ boxes of cookies each year, so the results are similar but not identical. Some of the cookies are even known by other names! Check out this Girl Scout Cookie map to see the differences.
Don't know a Girl Scout? Visit www.girlscoutsofcolorado.org/en/cookies/find-cookies to find a cookie booth near you!
3. Grow your own mint.
Mint is an easy herb to grow indoors year-round as long as it has plenty of sunlight. Add the leaves to your hot cocoa in the winter or a glass of tea or lemonade in the summer. Some mints are known to relieve nausea and other stomach issues.
You can also use it for aromatherapy. Pinching a leaf between your thumb and forefinger will release the invigorating fragrance.
Watch this video for tips to grow your own:
4. Enjoy a frozen treat.
While we can't guarantee you'll find mint chocolate chip ice cream at every shop, it is the 10th most popular flavor of ice cream in the world, according to the International Dairy Food Association. Stop at your favorite ice cream shop to order a scoop!
Some of our local favorites include:
- Heaven Creamery, 6955 S York Street #420, Centennial
- Milkit, 9625 E Arapahoe Rd. Unit G, Greenwood Village
- Glacier Homemade Ice Cream & Gelato, 4940 S Yosemite Suite E1, Greenwood Village
- Little Man Ice Cream, 3455 S University Blvd, Englewood (and other locations)
- Bonnie Brae Ice Cream, 799 S University Blvd, Denver
- Milk & Cake, 6345 E Hampden Ave, #103, Denver
- Right Cream, 2423 S Downing Street, Denver
- Sweet Action, 1061 S Gaylord Street, Denver (and other nearby locations)
- Milkroll Creamery, 2712 S Havana Street, Aurora
- The Ice Cream Farm, 8466 Park Meadows Center Dr, Ste 143A, Lone Tree
5. Schedule a tour of the Denver Mint.
This one isn't actually about the flavor, but it's a fun experience! The United States Mint produces billions of coins each year. You can take a free guided tour of the Denver facility to learn more about the process and perhaps even see it in action.
Tours are offered for ages 7 years and older on a first-come, first-served basis, Monday through Thursday (excluding observed federal holidays) at 8:00 AM, 9:30 AM, 12:30 PM, 2:00 PM, and 3:30 PM.
Learn more about tours at www.usmint.gov/about/mint-tours-facilities/denver/visiting-the-denver-mint.