Mint, with its dazzling wakeup taste, is added to drinks or desserts and often accompanies – or balances – spicy dishes as well.
In England, roast lamb is typically served with mint sauce, while mint chutney is a popular Indian side with pappadums. The leaves are an important addition in biryanis. Well-known Middle Eastern mint-infused dishes include tabouli and yogurt soup (tanabur). Of course, where would the Southern U.S. be without the symbolic hospitality of the mint julep?
Mint actually pairs extremely well with Cabernet Sauvignon.
Several types of mint are grown for commercial markets and in home gardens. Spearmint (also called “common” mint) is the most widely available followed by peppermint and pineapple mint. For teas, there are Swiss, ginger, and apple mints and for desserts, chocolate mint is a natural choice.
The most common extracts are oil of spearmint or peppermint.
Fresh mint is available year-round in many locations. Ethnic markets will carry a wide range of mints that are highly flavorful. It is also an easy-to-grow plant that will thrive in a container or spread quickly throughout a garden.
Refrigerate fresh mint for up to a week. Keep moist or with stems submerged in a glass container. Change water daily and cover exposed portion in plastic.
Dried mint is hardy and can be kept frozen for at least twelve months before losing flavor. If left at room temperature, it may acquire a musty odor.
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