It’s hard to pinpoint the exact number of species that belong to the ‘Mentha’ genus because they cross breed so easily, giving rise to many natural hybrids. Mint grows so effortlessly in all the moderate climates around the world that, in several places, it is regarded as weeds.
The two most cultivated types are peppermint and the spearmint. The first is mostly exploited for its medicinal properties, while the second is more popularly used in cooking.
Always select fresh, green mint leaves that are neither stained nor yellowing. They can be kept for up to 10 days in the refrigerator, if wrapped in damp paper towel and placed inside a plastic bag. You can also freeze the extra bits by chopping them up and putting them in an ice tray filled with water. Another easy way to preserve mint leaves is by drying them.
So go ahead and add mint to your fruit salads and vegetables, soups, omelettes or even in your tea. And it tastes amazing in a good mojito. Cheers!
Try our recipe for Mint-Flavoured Bisque
Originally published in the Journal de Montréal on June 19, 2010