ingredient information
Mint Leaves Egyptian
Mentha (mint) is a genus of about 25 species (and many hundreds of varieties[1]) of flowering plants in the family Lamiaceae (Mint Family). Species within Mentha have a subcosmopolitan distribution across Europe, Africa, Asia,[2] Australia, and North America. Several mint hybrids commonly occur. Mints are aromatic, almost exclusively perennial, rarely annual, herbs. They have wide-spreading underground rhizomes and erect, branched stems. The leaves are arranged in opposite pairs, from simple oblong to lanceolate, often downy, and with a serrated margin. Leaf colors range from dark green and gray-green to purple, blue, and sometimes pale yellow.[2] The flowers are produced in clusters ('verticils') on an erect spike, white to purple, the corolla two-lipped with four subequal lobes, the upper lobe usually the largest. The fruit is a small, dry capsule containing one to four seeds. While the species that make up the Mentha genus are widely distributed and can be found in many environments, most Mentha grow best in wet environments and moist soils. Mints will grow 10–120 cm tall and can spread over an indeterminate sized area. Due to the tendency to spread unchecked, mints are considered invasive The leaf, fresh or dried, is the culinary source of mint. Fresh mint is usually preferred over dried mint when storage of the mint is not a problem. The leaves have a pleasant warm, fresh, aromatic, sweet flavor with a cool aftertaste. Mint leaves are used in teas, beverages, jellies, syrups, candies, and ice creams. In Middle Eastern cuisine, mint is used on lamb dishes. In British cuisine, mint sauce is popular with lamb. Mint is a necessary ingredient in Touareg tea, a popular tea in northern African and Arab countries. Alcoholic drinks sometimes feature mint for flavor or garnish, namely the Mint Julep and the Mojito. Crème de menthe is a mint-flavored liqueur used in drinks such as the grasshopper. Mint essential oil and menthol are extensively used as flavorings in breath fresheners, drinks, antiseptic mouth rinses, toothpaste, chewing gum, desserts, and candies; see mint (candy) and mint chocolate. The substances that give the mints their characteristic aromas and flavors are menthol (the main aroma of Peppermint and Japanese Peppermint) and pulegone (in Pennyroyal and Corsican Mint). The compound primarily responsible for the aroma and flavor of spearmint is R-carvone. Methyl salicylate, commonly called "oil of wintergreen", is often used as a mint flavoring for foods and candies due to its mint-like flavor. Mints are used as food plants by the larvae of some Lepidoptera species including Buff Ermine