From The Lean-To: Kendal Mint Cake

Aug 15, 2011
Outside Magazine


Ah, Kendal Mint Cakes. Know them? Originating from Kendal in Cumbria, England, Edmund Hillary took the snack up to the top of Everest with him in 1953, cementing their place in the packs of hikers, climbers and adventureres for years to come. One member of that expedition wrote about Kendal Mint Cake, saying 'It was easily the most popular item on our high altitude ration – our only criticism was that we did not have enough of it."

In the late 70s, REI was even an agent for selling the mint cakes. Colin Fletcher wrote about them in his classic backpacking how-to, The Complete Walker.

First developed in 1869 by Joseph Wiper, who began producing it in his small Kendal factory, there are now three different companies, all in Kendal, that are still producing the high energy York Peppermint Patty-ish type bar. Romney's, Quiggin's, and Wilson's.

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