Brand: Fisherman’s Friend
Found at: Coop
I have heard – or, more accurately, have been enthusiastically told – that Swedish companies are bad at deceptive marketing; that Swedish companies pride themselves on being forthright and honest with the consumer. And while I can’t say whether or not this is true, it would certainly explain these mints.
I had assumed, in my American way, that the name “Fisherman’s Friend” was just a marketing ploy developed to draw on the fun, folksy image of the village fisherman to sell grocery store mints. But having tried them, I think that I have been fooled by truth in advertising. I think these mints are actually made for non-gender-specific fisherpeople.
When I first tossed one in my mouth, there was certainly the advertised impression of raspberry, but this turned out to be merely a decoy flavor, lulling me into a false sense of security that left me unprepared for the massive wave of menthol that followed. It was as if a flavor grenade had gone off in my mouth. I felt as those my nose, tongue, and ears had been rubbed with Vicks Vapo-rub and then placed in front of an industrial fan. My head was engulfed a blur of minty freshness that seemed determined to kill every living microbe known to otolaryngology – and the numbness of my tongue did not disperse long after the pastille had fully dissolved.
It seems that these are not the kinds of mints designed for the casual consumer, but for those shoppers that must spend all day in a miasma of cigarette smoke, salt water, and dead fish. They are the kind of thing you’d reach for after a long morning of hauling up fishing nets in the blasting wind and surf and a hearty lunch of salt cod and fermented herring and strong, Swedish schnapps. In short, these mints are perfect for those who have had their taste buds stripped of the ability to taste anything but the most determined flavors. But for the rest of us, tic-tacs are probably the better option.