May. 14th, 2009 12:59 pm
[personal profile] giftederic

When I was growing up, my parents grew mint in the garden. This was used occasionally for making mint sauce for lamb and such like. Then down in the sweet shop there were Polo mints and XXX mints etc, and these tasted very different to what we refered to as 'mint' in the garden. There were also 'spearmint' varites of Polo mints and other sweet mint varietes. Later in life I discovered mint tea, but one mans mint was another mans spearmint or peppermint it seemed. So some investigation was in order.

 Peppermint (mentha x piperita) , probably the most widely available mint in "mint tea", is actually a hybrid of spearmint (Mentha Spicata) and watermint (Mentha Aquatica).

Spearmint seems to be what was growing in my garden all those years ago, the spear in the name coming from its pointy leaves. However spearmint seems to have some wide range of flavours depending on its cultivation. The mint I like these days and most closely recalls the mint from the family garden is called Moroccan Mint. From what I can gather it is actually a cultivation of spearmint called 'Nana'.

Minty taste comes from an oil called R-carvone, present to a greater or lesser degree in different varieties and cultivation of mints.

There are currently recognised 25 pure species of mint and 6 hybrids (of which peppermint is one).

There you go... Wasn't that interesting? :)

Date: 2009-05-14 02:29 pm (UTC)
ext_34769: (Default)
From: [identity profile]
Well, it does go some distance toward explaining your secret stashes of Moroccan Mint Tea, by now probably all over the Western Hemisphere...

Date: 2009-05-14 02:41 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile]
They are hardly secret...

And they are not 'my' stashes, they are gifts for everyone to use... Feel free to enjoy a nice cup of Moroccan Mint tea...

Date: 2009-05-14 03:09 pm (UTC)
ext_34769: (Default)
From: [identity profile]
I dunno. Secretly placed, turning up mysteriously, looking innocent... how do we know you haven't laced them with some pro-Canadian mind-control nanobots?
Edited Date: 2009-05-14 03:09 pm (UTC)

Date: 2009-05-14 03:16 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile]
Eric would never let me keep using this LJ if I endorsed the use of nanobots... They give him the heebee jeebees...

Date: 2009-05-14 04:32 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile]
It was interesting... thanks for that! I've had Moroccan Mint tea before, and you're right - it's perhaps the best mint flavor I've found. At least in tea form. Must look for it again.

Spearmint seems to be the variety most commonly found in gardens and foods - I've bought fresh peppermint before, but it's too strong for most culinary applications, methinks. I'm curious to try others. Hmm.

Date: 2009-05-14 04:41 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile]
Numis Morrocan Mint Tea should be available in your area as Numi is a california based company. RRP is $6.99 for 18 teabags (which is admittedly ludicrous). You can buy 100teabags for $29.99 on their website...


Date: 2009-05-14 10:25 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] (from
Way more interesting than months of silence! When I was in Morocco about 5 years ago we bought mint tea and other stuff, the guy did postal sales, probably does net sales now. It was pretty cheap and the real deal.

Seems about time for another lunch or something, give G&G and poke tomorrow. I'm oncall tomorrow though so not that soon.



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