The wild and hybrid form of mint is called peppermint. The cross of spearmint and watermint develops this herb. This plant is indigenous to two regions that are the Middle East and Europe. Peppermint was not popular until recent years. But now, this herb is used almost everywhere around the world. Therefore, you will occasionally find peppermint with its parent species in the wild form.
Peppermint is from the mint family, which is also called Lamiaceae in the botanical language. It belongs to the Mentha genus of this family. This genus includes around 25 species. However, peppermint is the most common and used species on the list. Along with its culinary importance, peppermint is also very important in medicine and drinks. Hygiene products made of peppermint are also famous worldwide due to their exceptional benefits and cooling effect. In this article, we will study everything about this herb.
What does Peppermint Look Like?
Peppermint looks like the real mint. It has dark green. You will also find reddish veins on the leaves. The sides of leaves are points and have margins with coarsely toothed structures. These are the leaves of the peppermint plant. Each leaf has a size of around 4 cm to 9 cm. Besides, the peppermint plant grows at around 30 cm to 90 cm. the plant has a smooth texture. This is because the stems are located cross-sectional.
Moreover, the peppermint plant also has widespread rhizomes that have fleshy structures. Rhizomes also contain fibrous roots. Peppermint also contains purple flowers at the top of the plant. The flowers are tiny with a size of 6 mm to 8 mm.
Where does Peppermint Come From?
Peppermint’s first cultivation can be traced back to England during the 17th century. However, first peppermint leaves were also found in Egyptian pyramids. These leaves were from 1000 B.D. In the older times, these leaves were mainly used for treating stomach issues. They worked as a stomach soother. And that was the main reason behind its cultivation in the older times. The popularity of peppermint started during the 18th century when it was introduced in western Europe. They started using it or treating nausea, respiratory infections, and more. But soon after, people also began using it for culinary purposes.
How is Peppermint Made?
The best location to grow peppermint is shaded and moist areas. You can grow them both in pots and gardens. You can take young shoots from the older stocks. You should dribble the shoots at around 1.5 feet distance. Make sure to take good care of the plants and water them properly. Once the plant grows and gets ready to harvest, then begin picking the leaves. You will not need any further process if you are using it fresh. However, for using the dry form, wash the leaves well and then let them dry.
What Does Peppermint Taste Like?
The flavor of peppermint resembles the taste of spearmint to a great extent. However, it is a little stronger and has a more pronounced flavor. Peppermint also contains menthol, which gives it a refreshing taste.
How is Peppermint Used in Cooking?
Peppermint works as a flavoring agent in lots of ingredients. You can chop the fresh leaves in the food and then add them to your recipe. Add the fresh leaves at the end. However, if you are using dry leaves, you can add them with other ingredients and herbs like basil and parsley. Add it while cooking. It will give it enough time to release its flavor.
What Types of Cuisines Use Peppermint?
Peppermint is used in a wide range of cuisines around the world. Add it to any cuisine to get excellent taste and flavor. For example, you can add this herb to meat and other savory cuisines. Its fresh taste also makes it great for vegetables. Therefore, it is also used in vegetables, especially beans, potatoes, and peas, etc. Moreover, ice creams, chocolates, beverages, sweets, and biscuits made of peppermint are also famous worldwide.
What is a Peppermint Substitute?
Like all other ingredients, peppermint also has few great substitutes. However, these substitutes have the almost same taste and aroma as peppermint. The list includes mint, watermint, peppermint extract, spearmint, and basil. So, if you cannot find peppermint next time, then use its substitutes to get the same taste.
Where to Buy Peppermint?
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