The flavor of mint chocolate chip didn’t come into my life until I moved to the United States seven years ago.
I don’t remember where I first had a bite, but I haven’t forgotten the taste: Like chocolatey toothpaste in my mouth. The two strong flavors together were an odd combination for my taste buds.
The experience is comparable to drinking orange juice after brushing your teeth — proving that mint isn’t easy to pair with other foods.
The herb is versatile and works well in salads, teas and even sauces. Meanwhile, chocolate is simply delicious, drizzled on top of a cake or on its own. But the two together? In the form of ice cream? That’s a big no from me.
The flavor was invented by Marilyn Ricketts, a culinary student at South Devon College in England. According to McCormick Flavor Solutions, she entered a competition to create an ice cream dessert for the wedding of Princess Anne and Captain Mark Phillips.
She called this original recipe “Mint Royale.” The treat won the silver cup in the competition and became the favorite ice cream flavor for many.
“Some brands are heavy-handed with the green food coloring, but on a hot day when refreshment seems as important as indulgence, there’s no other cream-based frozen treat for me,” wrote Heather Marin for Today, where she reviewed a few dozen different ice cream flavors.
“A mint chip milkshake with a couple of Oreos thrown in is a common occurrence at my house,” she wrote.
But I’m not the only hater. Mint chocolate chip is divisive down to gender and race — data from a 2018 YouGov survey revealed that 10% of white people liked it most, compared to only 2% of African Americans and 4% of Hispanics.
The average demographic of those who love mint chocolate chip “is a middle-age white female living in the northeast in a domestic partnership earning over $80K,” per The Guardian.
An International Dairy Foods Association and Research America survey found that the top five flavors among ice cream makers and scoop shops are: cookies and cream, vanilla, chocolate, mint chocolate chip and strawberry.
But mint chocolate chip isn’t in the top five for consumers, the survey found. I don’t blame the buyers — who wants a breath mint for dessert?