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After Eight Mint Chocolate Thins (After Eights) are a confectionery product that are intended, as its name suggests, to be used as after-dinner mints. They were created in 1962 by Rowntree and Company Limited. Since the 1988 acquisition of the United Kingdom-based company, the mints have been manufactured by Nestlé.
The "Mint Chocolate Thins" have been made in the factory in Castleford, West Yorkshire since 1970. Prior to this, they were made at Rowntree's York factory since 1962. After Eights are now sold across Europe and North America, where they are kosher certified by the Orthodox Union, and one billion After Eight mints are made annually.
Since 1967, After Eights are also manufactured at the Rowntree factory in the Wandsbek district of Hamburg.
After Eights were originally made from dairy-free dark chocolate. However, in 2007, Nestlé started adding butterfat to After Eights, making them a dairy product. Nestlé has also made special editions of After Eights, including orange After Eights and milk chocolate After Eights.
The fondant in the centre of After Eights is made from a stiff paste of saccharose, water, and a small amount of the enzyme invertase. This fondant can readily be coated with dark chocolate. After manufacture, the enzyme gradually splits the saccharose into the much more soluble glucose and fructose, resulting in a more liquid consistency. Maturing of the mint is said to take over three days.
The After Eight family of products includes:
- Thin Mints - The original After Eight product, these comprise square dark or (less commonly) milk chocolate, enclosing the mint fondant.
- Mint & Blood Orange - This variation on the thin mints was a special edition for Summer 2011.
- Delights - Round sweets of dark chocolate with a mint fondant filling.
- Straws - Long, thin sticks of soft dark chocolate with a mint fondant filling.
- Biscuits - The newest addition to the After Eight family, these combine dark chocolate with mint in a biscuit.
- Chocolate Santa Claus - During the Christmas season, Nestlé Germany features a 125g Santa Claus made out of white or dark mint chocolate.
- Bitesize - Plain chocolate with mint fondant filling, similar in appearance to original Munchies. Originally known as Mintola, then renamed Mint Munchies in 1995, before being brought under the After Eight brand in 2006.
- Chocolate Truffles
- Dark Chocolate Irish Creams
- Ice Cream Dessert
- Lemon Sorbet
- Pfefferminz - A variety of Ritter Sport which has similar taste to the original After Eight, in the shape of a Ritter Sport.
- After Eight (cocktail) - A layered shooter consisting of Crème de cacao, Crème de menthe and Baileys Irish Cream.
- Royal Mints - A product manufactured by Halloren very similar to After Eight.
- Dziedzic, S. Z.; Kearsley, M. W. (1995). Handbook of starch hydrolysis products and their derivatives. London: Blackie Academic & Professional. p. 62. ISBN 0-7514-0269-9. Retrieved 2008-04-13.
- "Our brands - Chocolate and Sweets"[dead link], nestle.co.uk. Retrieved 2007-01-13.
- "Mint Munchies join After Eight brand"[dead link], irn-talkingshop.co.uk. Article dated 2006-10-13. Retrieved 2007-01-13.
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