Saveur’s Top 100: #85, Ginger Altoids

I purchased The Saveur 100 yesterday—the yearly masterlist of all things vital in the culinary world. Of course, any list like this is arbitrary (see, for example, People’s Sexiest Man Alive issue—if it weren’t arbitrary, I’d surely be in there along with Don Knotts), and so one must take it with a grain of salt. At its best, The Saveur 100 can turn you on to things that you might not have been turned on to. For example, a past issue of the Saveur 100 turned me on to…ummm…something, I’m sure. Now I don’t remember what it is. But I’m sure I still love it.

This year’s list has some eye-rollers. For example, why is the #6 most important thing in food this year a website that features Shakespeare food quotes? This is it. Actually, it’s kind of cool. I take back my criticism. In fact, I’ll use this Shakespearean ginger quote as my segue:

Twelfth Night, II, 3:

CLOWN: Yes, by Saint Anne, and ginger shall be hot i’ the mouth too.

The #85 most important thing in food is this:


Ginger Altoids. Sayeth Saveur: “These little things don’t just improve your breath; they take your breath away. Ginger Altoids pack a spicy wallop–and each one leaves you eager for another one.”

To test this theory I sampled two Ginger Altoids. The following is what went on in my brain while sucking said Altoids.

Ginger Altoid #1: Hmm, ok, feels chalky in my mouth. Small. Moving it around. Suddenly, some flavor–it’s sweet and gingery. Tates like gingerbread without the bread. But not so powerful, yet. Just very mild. Easy. Nice. Ahhh. Wait. Hmmm. This is getting spicier. What’s happening? My mouth is growing numb. This ginger is hot hot hot. Ouch. I am not enjoying this. Chew chew chew!

(Altoid chewed and ingested. Time passes. Another Altoid sampled.)

Ginger Altoid #2: I don’t know why I’m trying this again. I didn’t really enjoy the first one. Here we go again. Ok, ok, so far so good. Bland again. Powdery. Ginger. Sweet. Mmm. Nice. Wait. Here it comes. Heat heat heat. Wow, that is spicy. Ouch. Cough. Hack. ACK ACK ACK


12 thoughts on “Saveur’s Top 100: #85, Ginger Altoids”

  1. have you tried the altoid chewing gum? those really pack a whollop too!

    for some ODD reason, my hubby likes to torture himself by eating two at once.

  2. I love the Altoid gum, since it’s sugarless. Plus spicier than the candy.

    I haven’t tried the ginger flavor but now I’m sort of scared to.

  3. Love the Altoids gum but if you chew it a bit longer than you should, it turns into a totally liquid substance. This recently happened to me on the streets of San Francisco and after removing it from my mouth, it was almost impossible to remove it from my fingers. Ew.

  4. I am hopelessly addicted to ginger Altoids. I’m smiling fondly at the little tin on my desk right now. Yum!

  5. That little piece of ginger on the tin has a faintly phallic appearance!

    (or is it just too late and I should be in bed???)

  6. HATE them. Ick. My dad hated them and gave me the tin. I tried them, hated them, shared them with friends. Friends disliked them. I gave them to a friend who hadn’t tried them. I think, currently, the tin is circulating in Iceland somewhere.

  7. I tried ginger altoids about a year ago. Couldn’t stand them. Neither could my daughter. Some of her classmates loved them so they ended up with the tin. I love the cinnamon altoids though.

  8. Send them my way. I’m not addicted or anything, I’m just one of those people who like that sort of thing. But I put wasabi all over my tunafish sandwiches.

    There was a time when these were rare and selling well on eBay, but now you can get hand-me-down tins easy enough.

  9. yeah, I was addicted to altoids at one time. Then I discovered the mint boilers of Eastern Washington. Yes, there’s nothing more potent than an acre of mint purified down to a few drops of undescribable intensity. One drop makes a really good half-gallon of mint ice cream. Everyone: go get some!

  10. I live in WV and they don’t sell Ginger Altoids anywhere I have been. I have a friend in Hawaii and she always brings them home with her, the first time I ever found them in a store was last week visiting NC at a store called World Market. I was so excited when I seen them and had to buy a tin. I am not sure that I really like them as well as cinnamon. They are really spicy hot, but because they are different and most people I know have never heard of them, I like having a tin and being able to let others try something different.

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