Top critical review
Not Disgusting! Not Chalky! *Update: kind of nice*
Reviewed in the United States on June 5, 2021
These are nice enough. Subtle. Some might go as far as saying that these "PUR mints" even approach having something that could be mistaken for a "taste". But those reviewers - they are a generous, hopeful, optimistic sort, and hyperbolic to the point of being dishonest, and they may give their reviews elsewhere. I'm an honest type so you know what I'm going to do. I'm going to give it to you straight.
I got the variety that has a package that boasts both "mint" and "Peppermint" which, for some, might suggest these items have a distinct flavor. Potentially a "minty" flavor. And just to make sure, they tell you this in at least two languages.
While they were in no way unpleasant, I found them *refreshing* in the same way that room temperature tap water is *delicious*... This isn't the word I'd use for them. In fact, I did not find them to be fresh, freshening, refreshing, crisp, brisk, bright, tasty, frosty, invigorating, bracing, stimulating, exhilarating, noteworthy, reviving, restorative, attention grabbing, curiously strong, mundanely strong, energizing, enlivening, revitalizing, restoring, fortifying, rejuvenating, cooling, renewing, vitalizing, revitalizing, julepant, or mentholated to any detectible level. But they were, you know, "ehh".
What these items lack in purpose or fulfillment, however, they make up for in other qualities:
- they have an unimpeachable ovoid shape
- they are exactly the shade of white you might hope for
- what they lack in flavor they make up for in duration - they last a good long time. That is, they resist dissolving, so one gets to not-exactly-enjoy them, for a longer amount of time than one might expect.
I actually selected these after a search for "what is the strongest mint". (Thanks again, Bing)
In case I have been less than clear, they are certainly not strong, and I'm doing some background into filing a "truth in advertisement" claim against PUR for suggesting these are "mints". I'm not sure what qualifies something to be categorized as a "mint". So as part of my primary background research, I ran a test. Skip the next section if you want to continue to the remainder of the review, or read on if you want to learn the outcome of my little study.
***;Short diversion. I ran a little test to determine what it takes to be thought of as a "Mint candy" by an average person, using 721 randomly chosen people representing 7 States in the Eastern half of the US. (47 test subjects included in this test were visitors or non-citizens the United States. No differences were found between Citizens and Non-Citizens.) The test included Smarties, which are not thought of, advertised or sold as Mints, but rather are a type of tablet candy produced by Smarties Candy Company (distributed and marketed in Canada as Rocket). Smarties tablet candy have a biconcave disc shape and a diameter of roughly 1 cm and height of less than half that. Smarties come in combinations of colors within a cellophane wrapped roll of 15 individual discoids with colors including white and pastel shades of yellow, pink, orange, purple, and green. Researchers put a light green, orange and a white colored Smarties in a randomized order in front of individual participants on a table along with a small disc of old-school black-board chalk of roughly equal dimensions, a standard 2017 US Penny covered in White-Out Quick Dry Correction Fluid, and a small oyster shell I found on the beach last summer (Latitude, Longitude redacted). To repeat: none of these items are considered a Mint or sold as a Mint. Some of them shouldn't be put into your mouth.
Participants were asked to taste or ingest each item on the table, asked the following question after sampling each item "Is this a Mint?", and were instructed to answer with only one of the following replies: "Yes", "No", "Inadequate Information to Decide". Turns out, there was no significant difference (P=0.14, alpha = 0.05) between the number of Yes responses and No responses using Chi-squared analysis when analyzing all groups together; All items were just as likely to receive Yes (responding that the item was a mint) responses as they were to receive No responses or Inadequate Information responses. One interesting finding was that in pairwise comparisons, the light green Smarties, the white Smarties and the Chalk piece were all more likely to receive Yes responses than the Orange colored Smarties, the Penny or bivalve. It seems that being white or pastel green and of a certain shape and size may make people think it is a mint when putting it in their mouths regardless of any flavor present or lack of flavor. However, these differences were not statistically significant, and were absent when all groups were compared together. No mints were used in this test. Or, in my opinion, in this review. >>>>
This is the part of my review where I'd like to mention what I feel is the best attribute of these items. I am certain that PUR employed an interdisciplinary team of chemists, materiel specialists and food scientists who worked on this item, running through iteration after iteration until they decided on this combination of size, shape, texture, formula, etc. and indeed it is a winner, of sorts. It certainly took all the collaboration and trouble-shooting, discovery and invention to solve one of the most intractable problems known to man, clearly on the scale of global climate change, economic disparity, religious intolerance, and the like, and these clever folks have solved it, to be sure. Without reservation, I can wholeheartedly applaud these professionals for successfully achieving what so many have failed to do, and made a candy tablet that is "not chalky".
So, even if they don't rise to the level of "mint" by my standards (though, like a white or green colored Smarties or similarly shaped piece of sidewalk chalk or bivalve, some may disagree), they are a long lasting, not chalky, white ovoid mouth drop.
I know that PUR is proud for how few ingredients they can put into a product, and in this way, the product excels. I applaud them for keeping it simple, for sure. Very few ingredients. Well done. One more ingredient, something with a detectible flavor, and these might be a hit! If that flavor were based on some variety of Mint (e.g. Peppermint (Mentha piperita), Spearmint, (Mentha spicata), Wild mint (Mentha arvensis)), it might suitably be classified as a mint product. If Amazon had a 5 star category for "keeping it simple" or "Item contains few ingredients despite it's purpose", trust me, I'd give all the stars.
Note below, in the Stars section, there is no option such as an "NA" option to signify "lack of flavor" so the star number wouldn't count against the product, only star number, suggesting it has an unpleasant taste. It does not. It just has little-to-no taste. What I'd like is an "Unable to detect it" option for Flavor. I can almost fool myself in giving it one star, so I'll round up and give it that rating.
I tried a few of these PUR bits from the second package I purchased (I got a twin-pack).
I should say that in the jargon of Amazon reviews it was precisely 1-star's worth stronger. I could tell these little ovoids are indeed "somewhat minty". If I were an Ad-guy I'd write that on the little zipper type baggy they come in; I'd sell them as "PUR Somewhat Minty Sweet-Bits" So, yes, they do have a slight minty taste that is not unpleasant, hinting at "nice".