Mint Article - Allrecipes.com
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Mint

Description

Mint leaves are dried spearmint leaves of the species Mentha spicata. The dark green leaves have a pleasant warm, fresh, aromatic, sweet flavor with a cool aftertaste.

Uses

Use in teas, beverages, jellies, syrups, ice creams, confections, chutneys, raitas and lamb dishes, mint is featured in Afghanistani, Egyptian, Indian, and Mid-Eastern cuisines and spice blends such as chat masola, mint sauce, and green Thai curry.




Origins

Mint is native to Europe and Asia and was previously grown in convent gardens. Today, mint is commercially cultivated in the United States and Egypt.

Folklore

Mint was used by the ancient Assyrians in rituals to their fire god. The ancient Hebrews scattered mint leaves on the synagogue floor so that each footstep would produce a fragrant whiff. Spearmint was used by the ancient Greeks and Romans as a flavoring herb, culinary condiment, and in perfumes and bath scents. Mint was named by the Greeks after the mythical character, Menthe. During the Middle Ages, besides in culinary uses, powdered mint leaves were used to whiten the teeth.


Flavor Trend

Americans are discovering that this herb is much more than just a garnish, breath mint, or star ingredient in a classic Southern cocktail. Because of its importance in Mediterranean, Southeast Asian, Middle Eastern, and Latin American cuisines, Americans' consumption of mint has increased 83 percent over the past two decades. Mint is simultaneously pleasant, warm, fresh and aromatic, with a cool aftertaste, and is great for balancing spicier foods. It is also thought to have stress-relieving qualities, making it a popular ingredient in a variety of essential oils, candles and lotions.

What The Experts Say

Chef Paul Kahan, of Blackbird and Avec in Chicago, uses mint in a salsa verde which he serves with crumbled feta as a complement to roasted lamb with parsley and capers.


Perfect Flavor Partners Include:

basil, bourbon, chile peppers, chocolate, cilantro, citrus, dill, fish sauce, oregano, rum, and soy sauce

Color

Light to dark green

Flavor & Aroma

Fresh, strong, cool

Sensory Profile

Mint has an aromatic, strong, sweet flavor with a cool aftertaste.

Comments
Fresh 
Apr. 25, 2011 9:05 pm
Add mint to your garden. It is easy to grow and comes back every year.
 
Kris 
Apr. 26, 2011 10:32 am
We grow our own mint, hang it to dry, crunch it up, and make tea. It's very calming for the stomach. Mmmm.
 
Apr. 26, 2011 11:24 am
is it true that mint is an aggressive plant that is better in a container? I heard it spreads in a garden. Any advice?
 
Thea 
Apr. 26, 2011 12:49 pm
It is a very aggressive plant. My friend picks it out of her grass every year. She brings me sprouts every year just to get rid of some. I put it in planter and it does very well.
 
Apr. 26, 2011 3:32 pm
A friend of mine takes the tops and bottoms from coffee cans and buries them upright. The plants can't spread as fast because the are contained without looking like they are incased.
 
Linda 
Apr. 29, 2011 7:29 pm
I planted one little mint plant and have it all over now which is fine with me as I use it so much in the summer. I make a great non-alcoholic mojito with Crystal Light Lemon Lime, a squeeze of lime and of course the mint! It's so refreshing and a low calorie drink I can enjoy all day long.
 
Tosha 
Apr. 30, 2011 9:55 pm
thats a great idea sue!! i'm definately gonna have to (try to) grow some! full sun? shade? does it matter?
 
May 1, 2011 7:45 am
we use mint all the time in the summer- I throw some mint leaves in when I'm steeping tea for sweet tea. (try "smooth sweet tea" on this site- yum, just like McDonalds !) But... I've tried growing it in a container a few times and it never regenerates more leaves when I pick them. Soon enough, the plant is bald. WHERE/HOW do I pick the leaves to encourage regrowth? thanks!
 
Julie W 
May 2, 2011 6:55 am
Snip the stem (not just the leaves) right above the lowest set of leaves. In a few days you'll see two new stems shooting out from that spot instead of just one. I have two small pots of mint in my sunny kitchen window sill and I can hardly keep up with them, they grow so fast. Might have to try hanging and drying some of it as someone here suggested.
 
May 31, 2011 1:27 pm
@ Tosha - mine thrives in full sun. Definitely has taken over that corner garden so new planters beware. The buried container would be a good idea. A non food use I accidentally found last year when I knocked off some dried herbs: it makes a great smelling carpet freshener!
 
Aleson 
Mar. 21, 2012 1:02 pm
My dad likes to use it in his tea, took me a few tries,, But love it now...
 
Liz 
Apr. 16, 2012 8:15 am
You can grow it in part sun as well
 
Alana 
Apr. 16, 2012 9:27 am
Mice hate mint.
 
fr3bird 
Apr. 16, 2012 1:46 pm
Mint definitely needs to be in a container or it will take over! I have mine in a container planted in the garden and it comes back every year two feet tall. Recipe idea, growing up my italian grandma always made mint roasted chicken. Brush any chicken with olive oil, season with salt, pepper, garlic powder, and fresh chopped mint leaves. Roast In oven, I've also done it on the grill, and the flavor is unique and amazing!
 
Meghann 
Apr. 17, 2012 7:35 am
so by the comments, I'm assuming that mint is relatively easy to grow, but where do you usually find mint? does it come in seeds and you can just get it from the store?
 
Galefrances 
Apr. 18, 2012 1:07 pm
I may be the only person on the face of the earth to kill a mint plant. Everyone complains that it takes over their garden. Being Sicilian I use mint often and it's difficult to find in stores in my area. Expensive when you do. I especially like in my lasagna and ravioli. My mother always mixed some in the ricotta cheese because it has more flavor than parsley. does anyone know if it can be grown indoors on a windowsill?
 
NoelStar 
Apr. 20, 2012 8:55 pm
Yes, on window sill, terrium, large container, small container, any size.Had Large(3'x5') fiber glass (3' high) container. it reseeded it self for 5 years in a row. then I went in hospital for a few days, was winter had died back. My sons though they'd help Mama out, clean up yard so be easier to keep up, for mama. Mint planter ended up on burn pile. it had a chip out of corner, so was trash. Not in good shape when i got home from hospital, didn't check on garden for few days..... when did, nearly went back in hospital!!!!! many containers gone. Children lucky!!! too week to beat up. (both 6' tall! I 5'5".
 
Ellie 
Apr. 20, 2012 11:39 pm
oooh...I dont mind the mint being an aggressive plant and taking over my whole garden. Only weeds seem to be thriving so well here and they are not edible.Tried planting them mint stems but because the weather here is so hot, they shrivel up and die off. So I would buy the leaves from the grocery stores and freeze them in a zip lock bag so that I can conveniently use the leaves in my cuppa tea anytime. Tastes equally as good.
 
Mrhycannon 
Jul. 31, 2012 10:47 pm
Don't be too quick to revile those weeds. Many so-called weeds are escaped garden veggies, very tasty and very full of good things the body needs. Any time you transplant something you must water it daily to give it's roots a chance to grow deep into the soil where it can get moisture to thrive, especially in dry weather or climate. Most greenhouses have a variety of mints and other fragrant herbs. You an also get them from friend's and neighbor's yards. I took a handful of discarded weeds that a neighbor had pulled up and now have all the spearmint I could ever need. My neighbor still has all he'll ever need too. I have several varieties in my garden (some of those escaped from gardens). They were once strewn about floors to kill vile odors and chase away bugs. I grow mine against my house along with other herbs. The ones that spread too far get mowed down which makes mowing extra aromatic. They also get walked on adding even more fragrance. Kinda like chamomille, an herb th
 
Riverside 
Sep. 27, 2012 10:31 pm
I thoroughly enjoy the mint I inherited with my older home years ago. When mint is grown with violets, they create the perfect environment for a beautiful endangered butterfly, the Regal Fritillary. Their caterpillars prefer violet leaves and mint flowers, but also enjoy milkweed. I only have the mint and violets, but enjoy a bumper crop of these lovely winged visitors every August. The violets in Spring, mint all summer, and butterflies all Fall are the true pleasures of life. Both plants prefer a moist soil, and the violets help keep the mint in check and shade the soil. It's extremely easy to root a sprig or two in a small vase of water on the windowsill and then transplant it. The tomato, cucumber, mint salad sounds delightful, but I especially enjoy mint tea with cream and sugar in the winter at bedtime to warm me up and relax cold muscles. All the taste of mint ice cream without the calories. Mint is a year round pleasure!
 
Yaroslava Snitsar 
Apr. 26, 2013 5:15 pm
I grow mint myself , as matter of fact I love it . I put it in my tea,I eat it straight from the plant or put it home-made lemonade to make lemonade : 1 gallon of water 16-20 tablespoons ( adjust to taste ) 2-3 juicy lemons now it depend if you like it sweet :D
 
EVANGELINA 
Apr. 27, 2013 10:16 am
These are all great ideas to do with mint. I grow mine in a container next to my front door. I have 3 varieties, one which is chocolate mint. I liked the way it smelled, but I'm not sure how to use the chocolate mint. Any suggestions?
 
LBnQC 
Apr. 27, 2013 5:52 pm
I am really excited to read more about Mint!! I am getting married this spring and my bouquet will have mint sprigs in it making it really fresh and fragrant :-)
 
SirJosephTAS 
Jul. 16, 2013 8:34 am
Lissa To keep mint from spreding you just follow these steps. 1. dig a hole 1 1/2 foot diameter and about 1 foot deep. 2. Place landscape fabric in the hole. 3. Place the remaing dirt in the hole so it will weigh down the landscape fabric. 4. Trim the fabric so that you so you can see 1inch of the is fabric sticking out
 
 
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