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Spearmint or Regular Mint

Asked by Helene_P. Answered on 27th May 2013

Full question

This spring I planted spearmint on my balcony. It's very small yet but I've heard that it can really run riot so I thought I'd check in advance what I can use it for? Does Nigella specifically use spearmint in any recipe or can you recommend a dish where spearmint really works well? I've heard that many people use it in Vietnamese and Greek dishes...

Our answer

There is a flavour difference between spearmin and peppermint as speamint tends to be slightly milder and sweeter whilst peppermint tends to have a more menthol flavour. Which type you prefer to cook with is somewhat down to personal preference and Nigella's recipes just specify "mint" rather than a particular type.

Supermarkets tend not to label their mint by type and it appears that most supermarket mint is closer to spearmint than peppermint, though may well be a hybrid of the two. If you like the flavour of your spearmint then you should be able to use in most dishes that specify mint.

Nigella has many summer recipes that include mint and we would suggest trying Lamb Salad with Pomegranate and Mint, Vietnamese Mint Salad and Mint Julep Peaches. If you type "mint" into the search bar on Nigella's website then you will get a multitude of recipes that use mint.

And your mint should also be perfect for home-made mint tea.

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