Yay or Nay: Mint Chocolate Chip Ice Cream

Welcome to Echo’s very first chapter of Yay or Nay! In this segment, we aim to tackle some of the most controversial and unpopular topics from both perspectives. It is a collaborative segment between the Creative Writing and Event Reporting departments that pits some of the finest writers in Echo against one another as we take sides for each particular topic — are we for it, or are we against it?

For this month’s segment, we have representatives from both departments — Chris and Saoussan from Creative Writing, Jamie and Michelle from Event Reporting — to battle it out from two opposing views as we tackle one of the most controversial topics in the food community today — Mint Chocolate Chip ice cream! 

Yay 

Well, well, here we are. Mint chocolate chip ice cream is arguably one of the most highly debated topics among the foodies of the world — it’s just as controversial as pineapple on pizza. 

“Frozen toothpaste.” “Who eats mint-flavored stuff? You may as well be stuffing a pine tree down your throat!” “It looks like those green highlighters in high school and it is gross!”

I’ve heard the aforementioned phrases being used over and over again to unjustifiably slander mint chocolate chip ice cream. How can such a delightful flavour, arguably God’s greatest creation when it comes to ice cream flavours to satisfy your taste buds, receive such unfair disparaging remarks on such a regular basis? The sheer euphoria of marvellous minty magic dancing in your taste buds alone is sufficient to justify its place as the superior ice cream flavour of all time, and it’s time to stop the blasphemy!

In 2020, YouGov surveyed 20,000 Americans to determine the hottest ice cream flavours around in the States. Guess what, haters? Mint chocolate chip ice cream came in THIRD, only behind chocolate and vanilla which are contemporary favourites in their own right. Whilst personally I find the Americans’ judgement in culinary arts generally leaves a lot to be desired (pickles wrapped with cheese and ice cream on meatloaf are just some of the most mortifying combinations you will ever find), I gotta give plaudits to our American friends for having their priorities absolutely spot-on in the ice cream department. See, as my colleague Jamie would vehemently agree, it DOES NOT taste like toothpaste people!

Mint and chocolate may seem like an odd couple on paper, but in execution, together they take the phrase “a whole new level”  all the way to the stratosphere! Just like french fries and frosties from Wendy’s, and the chocolate-coffee combo, the mint chocolate chip is a duo that should be etched in food history for life! Not forgetting our wonderful relatives —  candy cane + peppermint flavoured ice cream — which is fast becoming an all-time favourite among cultured individuals (aka mint chocolate chip lovers only!). 

Quality mint chocolate chip, like the ones sold by Baskin Robbins, provides refreshment in spades bursting with glorious mint and chocolate flavour, in addition to pampering the consumer with its smooth, creamy texture. The mere thought of crunchy, cocoa chocolate chips working in tandem with the suave magnificence of mint, is enough to make one water at the mouth. With the blazing Malaysian weather forcing Malaysians to seek shelter under shades all year, mint chocolate chip provides a cooling yet supercalifragilisticexpialidocious solution to one’s heatwave woes. Looks like Saoussan apparently forgot Malaysia is a literal desert without the sand. Simply put —  it’s sweet, it’s refreshing, it’s everything ice cream should be! 

For the cretins that are still busy brainwashing your comrades about the invalidity of mint chocolate chip as an ice cream flavour, you are depriving them from experiencing a true gift from the heavens. Homies, ignore the incessant scandalmongering by the haters, and get yourself a pint of that minty goodness from the nearest ice cream store to get a real idea of what the cynics are missing out on. Mint chocolate chip ice cream is akin to nectar from the heavens, and it is hands down, the most voluptuous melt-in-your-mouth treat that truly earns its rightful place as a dessert fit for the gods. 

– Chris, certified mint connoisseur 

Mint chocolate chip ice cream. Does it really have to be a love or hate relationship? Ice cream flavours all around the world exist for a reason. Flavour is supreme and let me tell you why mint chocolate chip rules. It’s sweet, it’s refreshing. It’s everything ice cream should be. Let’s clear the air first, to all the lovers out there, we chase what we cherish. To all the haters, the only argument you got is that it’s toothpaste. When it’s not. 

Let’s start with how our brain likes to categorise things. We do not swallow toothpaste, we all know that it is only meant to coat, cleanse, etc. When you taste a similar flavour in food, our brains just automatically taboos out the fact of our everyday actions that toothpaste is not meant to be swallowed. Sensory Cortex Organisation is a thing. Quote general psychology  “Our minds are not capable of treating every object as unique; otherwise, we would experience too great a cognitive load to be able to process the world around us”. Lesson learned, the complaint that mint is toothpaste is simply a psychological turn of events. 

Come on people, what about the colour? Quality mint chocolate chip ice cream is all about that pale turquoise bright green, yes mint colour. A rather mesmerising colour indeed. If you’re generalising it as green, it is arguably common food colouring. Well facts on hand, unless you’re suggesting health halo ice creams, food colouring is almost as essential for any indulgent ice cream because ‘they’re meant to be treats’. When did visual demand become an issue? You know what, it’s a sign people. IT IS A SIGN that quality mint chocolate chip ice cream is yet to be discovered and there is hope.

Now, think Theobroma Cacao, which means the food of the Gods and is also Chocolate. What a magnificent combination. The moment that spoon of mint chocolate chip ice cream melts on your tongue, it’s pure bliss right there. The sensation of chill on top of ice cream’s frost, sweet with a hint of tang, and bitter astringent from chocolate – utter pops of euphoria is what you’re missing out on. Description to this classic flavour may be literary, but devouring goes infinitely and beyond. 

Well, if it’s not your cup of tea, when even Nasi Lemak and Horse Flesh ice cream flavours exist, what’s so wrong with respecting the godly existence of mint chocolate chips? Is divergence too hard to handle, honey? Of course, taste refers a lot to personal enjoyment and being comfortable with the cuisine that excites one’s endorphins. Questionable hormones indeed. Nonetheless, to all the people who had varying opinions, I urge you to give it a shot. No, you won’t die, once again it’s not toothpaste. 

– Jamie, avid mint ice cream aficionado

Nay

Indeed, as the saying goes, “mint chocolate chip ice cream tastes like toothpaste”. Perhaps no truer words of wisdom have been uttered over friendly-turned-hostile conversations in everyday life, reiterated with fervour on social media threads for years, and preached by public figures. On the surface, this defence seems “overused” but let’s dig into why it resonates so deeply. 

Mint or menthol is widely enjoyed as a refreshment in chewing gum, candies and breath-mints, or for toothpaste and mouthwash. Meanwhile, chocolate is a confectionery/dessert, serving range and versatility that astounds in a plethora of different forms, including solid or melted, roasted, ground, sweetened or unsweetened. Mint and chocolate serve entirely different functions and when forced to be together, mint is overbearing and overwhelming to its chocolate component, resulting in a toxic relationship that never should have hit it off in the first place.

Toothpaste isn’t meant to be swallowed but tasting it is an integral part of dental hygiene practices as the menthol flavour comes into contact with the taste receptors of the tongue. When one thinks of toothpaste, it is inevitable to associate it with its taste. Moreover, many consumers do seek to repurchase a particular brand of toothpaste specifically for its variation of menthol flavouring. Many toothpastes have xylitol or sodium saccharin added to them, enhancing the sweetness of the taste that then becomes similar to the mint or peppermint in mint chocolate ice cream. Thus, the comparison between toothpaste and mint chocolate chip ice cream is valid. 

Consuming these two flavours in an ice cream hence becomes akin to relishing frozen Colgate infused with chocolate bits. That is to say, it’s like cleansing the insides of one’s mouth while eating a sweet dessert at the same time – how self-contradicting!

In terms of appearance, mint chocolate chip can come in its unnatural highlighter green colours but can also be disguised as a regular milk or dark chocolate colour, like Charbonnel et Walker’s dark chocolate thins with peppermint oil. Such tactics are unnecessary betrayals, comparable to the evils of raisin bread impersonating chocolate chip bread to an unsuspecting raisin bread-hater. As if mint chocolate couldn’t have stooped any lower since its invention.  

Can antis be blamed for harping on the fact that mint chocolate chip ice cream tastes like toothpaste when the minty ice cream is, after all, the most dominating element of the whole composition and toothpaste is the most universal item to compare it to? 

At the end of the day, it may well come down to personal taste and mint chocolate chip ice cream surely isn’t going to die off any time soon but, just as mint chocolate chip is one of hundreds of flavours out there, there are hundreds of other innovative flavours that outshine it! Mint chocolate chip ice cream is simply a nay in this book. 

– Michelle, mint ice cream critic

I am sure you have all heard it before but I am here to say it again. Mint ice cream is disgusting. Some might even say it is one of the evils created to root out the toothpaste eaters of our society. 

That comes to my first point, the taste itself. 

Sure- I’ve heard the argument of “It’s so refreshing! Imagine having it on a hot day!” a million times over as a counterpoint. Well imagine comparing ice to dry ice, why would anyone in their right mind put themselves through the horrors of double coldness? All that menthol paired up with the rush of cold takes the eater on a horrid journey of painful breathing and induced brain freeze. 

Moving on, taking the point of the argument above, singing the praises of how a survey done by YouGov of 20,000 Americans in 2020, shows that mint ice cream bagged third place among the ranks of ice cream flavours. Bear in mind, there is a reason that it is third and not first or second like a more recent survey shows that although mint ice cream takes third place,  it ties in with a whole three other flavours which honestly implies that it does not even qualify as one of the top three. 

In continuation we have of course the overall presentation of the dessert of doom: 

I mean come on, look at that! You can’t possibly tell me that something looking like the colour of a plastic mass produced pony figurine is something that you are willing to put into your mouth. According to the American Food and Drug Administration (FDA) food colourings are dyes, pigments or substances that when added to food (among other things) are capable of  imparting color. It is also mentioned that “without color additives, colas wouldn’t be brown, margarine wouldn’t be yellow and mint ice cream wouldn’t be green.” 

Well said FDA, I mean come on, mint is not even in that colour in nature! Now dear reader I am here to tell you exactly how this sausage gets made. Did you know that food colouring is made of the same petroleum that we use to fuel our cars? At least it makes sense for strawberry to be pink (white milk and red strawberries) or chocolate to be brown (cacao seeds are literally brown) but this mint ice cream is an abomination of falsities and lies that you are still willing to feed yourself in order to be “refreshed” (smh). 

To conclude, I will forever be a mint ice cream disliker but I am listening to John Lennon’s Imagine while writing this article and I am willing to agree to disagree as it does all boil down to personal preference. What can I say? If you enjoy scooping spoonfuls of frozen toothpaste into your system, who am I to tell you no? Finally, between you and me dear reader- whether you like mint ice cream or not- we should not let a simple controversy like this break apart friendships and end connections. In the wise words of Ringo Starr “Peace and love, peace and love”.

Unless you get me started on mint chocolate bars. That my friend, is a whole other kind of evil.

– Saoussan, thinks mint ice cream should not exist 

All in all, according to that intense debate we can see that peace in mint ice cream discourse may never be achieved. Although, personal enjoyment of flavours should probably remain just that, personal. Well reader, what do you think of the whole ordeal? Should mint ice cream be freed from the judgemental eyes of its haters or should it be banned to the edges of the earth, never to be seen again? 

Disclaimer: Sunway Echo Media does not take responsibility for any relationships damaged by mint ice cream related debates. 

Got any controversial takes that you would like to see us talk about next? Leave your thoughts in the comments below, or tell us on our Instagram!

By: Chris, Jamie, Saoussan, Michelle

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