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In recent years Altoids have become the ubiquitous mint of the people. The curiously strong mints have applications ranging from palate-cleansing to fellatio and cunnilingus, and have grown from being an item carried only by gourmet stores to being found in every Quik-Stop and supermarket on the planet. This brand is not without it's dark little secrets, however. In fact, it has a red-headed stepchild of it's own: the elusive Ginger Altoids.

Made in extremely small quantities, Ginger Altoids have become something of a trophy for the avid Altoid aficionados of the world. They have stores dedicated to selling them on eBay, and still retain the mystique that the original mints had in the eighties. Interestingly, Callard & Browser (the confectionery that produces Altoids) basically denies the existence of the product; noting only in a well-buried FAQ that the candies are produced in small amounts throughout the year.

The mints come in a tin similar to the standard Altoids tin, though about one quarter of the top "label" is taken up by an image of a ginger plant and root, with the scientific name of the plant, "Zingiber Officinale," in red text below. The border is sort of a dark mustard color, and the bottom half of the tin is gold. The taste is addictive; while ginger candy may sound odd at first, nine of the eleven people I have shared mine with have agreed that the burning sweetness is addictive.

If you are interested in obtaining a specimen for further examination, eBay is probably the safest bet. The only store I was able to find by Googling is located at http://www.clorders.com/altoids.htm and prices there are generally higher than those on the open market. These are definitely worth a try, and while certainly not for everyone, they have replaced my tin of regular Altoids permanently.

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