Mint is the Greek mythological symbol of hospitality. It was once the nymph Mentha who angered Pluto’s wife and turned her into an herb. In Biblical times, mint was used to perfume homes, and temples.
There are over 30 different species of mint plants, in the genus mentha. (The genus menthe includes Basil, sages, and balms, to name a few)
The two most common varieties of mint are spearmint and peppermint. Peppermint has fuzzy, slightly rounded leaves that are light green. Spearmint has pointed, smooth, deep green leaves. Each variety of mint has a slightly different flavor. Mints such as “lemon mint”, “chocolate mint”, “pineapple mint” have the slight undertone of the name of the mint.
Mint grows wildly and rampantly. It is hard to control. The roots are very invasive and will take over landscaping.
Mint contains mentha. It can be very therapeutic. Large amounts of mint will cause insomnia. Small amounts may promote sleep. Peppermint can alleviate colic, gallbladder problems, and spasms. It is an antiseptic, tonic, expectorant, stomachic, and aids in digestion.
What to pair with Mint??
fish soups and stews
salsas, especially tomato
A Mint by Any Other Name.....
Arabic: na nal
Mexico: yerba buena
Malaysian: daun pudina
Spanish: yerba buena or menta
Vietnamese: que, rauthoon, ha to, hung (different varieties)
Laotian: pak hom ho
Sri Lanka: Meenchhi
Thai: by kaprow
© 2011 Chef Jennifer M. Denlinger All rights reserved
Cite me: Denlinger, J. (2011, February 2). Mint. Retrieved from: FloridaChef.net