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Kendal Mint Cake: On Top of the World Exhibition

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by Bastion Harrison (subscribe)
Freelance writer and poet from London; if you would like to read my poetry, please check out my book, 'Poems on the Page', available from
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You Don't Climb Mountains on Sausage Rolls

Have you ever heard the phrase that Britain didn't win the war by eating croissants for breakfast? Or that the country was built on protein packed meals like the Full English, pies, and sausage rolls? Well it may come as a surprise, but none of these things would be the food of choice for a bag packer, mountaineer, or someone going on an epic expedition. No, for that, you must let them eat cake. Kendal Mint Cake that is.

This high sugar confectionery loved by everyone with a sweet tooth, is what kept pioneers going in the harsh conditions of the Arctic and Mount Everest.

Discovered in the market town of Kendal, mint cake was invented entirely by accident, when Joseph Wiper was trying to make a clear glacier mint. There is also the theory that it was formed after a batch of b peppermint creams solidified overnight.

It is a glucose-based confection that provide high energy, and there are are currently three companies that still produce Kendal Mint Cake in Kendal. The oldest is Quiggins, who have been baking it since 1880, and the others are Wilson's (founded in 1913) and Romney's (founded in 1918).

You can discover more at The Museum of Lakeland Life's Kendal Mint Cake On Top of the World. Running until 6th July, find out how mint cake is made, and how it sustained men formed on Everest expeditions from the 1920s to the 1970s.

On the 19th February, there will be a chance to meet up with the curators, who will allow you to get a closer look at some of the artefacts. Then on the 20th February, there will be a children's shadow puppet workshop, in which kids can tell mountain climbing stories.

Admission to the museum is free for under 16s, and adults pay 5 for one year's free entry.
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Why? Learn something interesting
When: Until 6th July
Phone: 015394 46139
Where: Museum of Lakeland Life
Cost: 5 adult, free for under 16s
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