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Knowledge: Mint or Peppermint: What are the differences?


Mint and Peppermint: What's the Difference?
Many associate "mint" primarily with the well-known "peppermint". It has an invigorating, pungent taste that is somewhat reminiscent of pepper. Due to the high menthol content, the plant is also of interest to medicine. A glass of mint tea can relieve gastrointestinal complaints and colds. For this, some fresh leaves are poured with hot water. Then leave the tea covered for about 6 to 8 minutes.

In the food industry, peppermint is used for chewing gum, chocolates and ice cream, for example. It bears the scientific name Mentha x piperita and is said to have arisen naturally from a cross between spearmint (spearmint) and Bachmint (water mint). In total, the genus Mentha from the botanical family of labiate includes around 30 different species and numerous crosses. The herbaceous plants of several years can reach heights of 20 to 100 centimeters and many are native to Europe. There are clear differences in appearance, but also in taste.

Not everyone likes the spiciness of peppermint, so it is rarely used for cooking and cold drinks. Other mints are more suitable for this. For example, spearmint is often used to flavor leafy salads, chutneys, meat and fish. Moroccan mint refines rice, bulgur and summer cocktails, while the chocolate mint goes particularly well with desserts. Fruit salads get a special note with fruity mint. A stalk of strawberry mint in ice-cold mineral water makes a refreshing drink.

In the garden, peppermint needs little maintenance if the soil is rich in humus and sufficiently moist. It likes slightly shady, but warm locations under trees and in front of bushes. However, the plant can spread quickly throughout the garden because it multiplies via underground runners. Peppermint delivers the first aromatic leaves in late spring. Shortly before flowering, the content of valuable ingredients is highest. The best time to harvest is early in the morning as the essential oil content decreases until evening. The stems and leaves are cut off just above the ground and hung up in clusters to dry. The fine mint aroma can be preserved all year round. Heike Kreutz, bzfe.de

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Video: How to Identify Spearmint and the mint family of herbs (January 2022).