Mint is grown for its aromatic and flavorful leaves. Oval and serrated, the leaves of mint are indented with veins and come to a point. They impart a fresh clean scent and a strong mint flavor with sweet overtones. Leaves are commonly bright to dark green in color but some varieties can be purple, gray-green or even pale yellow. If allowed to flower mint will produce white and lavender to purple petite blooms. Young leaves will have the best flavor and texture, leaves allowed to mature on the plant for too long will become bitter and woodsy in flavor. The cool taste and sensation mint imparts is a result of the naturally occurring compound, menthol contained in the herb.
Mint is available year-round.
Mint is used fresh and dried for both sweet and savory dishes. Infuse syrups or blend into cocktails, yogurt, whipped creams and sorbet. Use as an aromatic garnish on food and beverages. Add to fresh fruit, green or grain salads. It is a popular herb for use in Turkish, Indian, Vietnamese, Greek and Persian cuisines. Its flavor pairs well with citrus, berries, seafood, lamb, melons, peas, beans, summer squash, chocolate and aged sheep's milk cheeses. Mint is delicate and bruises easily; keep cool and dry in the refrigerator until ready to use.