In this article, we're discussing mint. What does it taste like? How do you use it in your recipes? Keep reading to find out.
Let's get started...
What Does Mint Taste Like?
This is going to sound strange, but mint tastes cold. Have you ever stuck your tongue out to catch snowflakes? That's a little what the sensation of mint is when you eat it.
Aside from the cold factor, mint has a sweet flavor, sometimes with a touch of bitterness. This can vary with the type of mint, and some mint plants are almost stevia-like.
Fresh mint leaves are covered in tiny hairs that make them feel silky on your fingertips. They're very soft, easily torn up by hand to garnish your meals.
Sometimes mint leaves become tougher as they get older. If you have an herb plant that's been growing and flowering for several months, you may notice this as well as woodier stems.
Is Mint Spicy?
Interestingly, there is something about mint that will remind you of spicy food, and yet it's the opposite of spicy in that it's cold, not hot.
The reason for this lies in the menthol, which produces a temperature-sensitive feeling like capsaicin, the heat-producing chemical in chili peppers.
So in a certain way, mint is spicy. But it's a kind of spiciness that's in its own sensory category, just like wasabi.
Is There a Difference Between Peppermint and Mint?
There are certainly differences between these herbs, but peppermint might be more accurately described as a type of mint. You see, there are actually hundreds of varieties of mint.
When an herb is sold as "mint," it's usually mildly sweet with a big dose of its special kind of "spiciness." Peppermint is typically even more potent and less sweet while spearmint is the sweetest and mildest.
Mint Serving Tips
It's easy to jump into chocolate desserts when thinking of what to do with mint, but there are tons of ways to use it in dinner, too.
If you've never made a vegan version of the North African stew called tagine, you'll love the blend of sweet and savory flavors with a pinch of spice.
Gather these ingredients from the store:
- Red pepper flakes
- Black pepper
- Tomato paste
- Bell pepper
- Raisins (dates, apricots and other dried fruits are also lovely)
- Veggie broth
Next time you're making chana masala, think about making this vegan raita, too. It'll cool your mouth down and add a nice creamy texture.
The ingredients are simple:
- Mint leaves
- Balsamic vinegar or lemon juice
- Coconut milk
- Cumin (optional)
- Coriander (optional)
We couldn't leave you hanging without a chocolate mint recipe. This video will show you how to make a classic, vegan mint chocolate chip ice cream. No fancy equipment necessary.
Here's what you need:
- Soaked cashews
- Coconut milk
- Vegan milk
- Vanilla extract
- Peppermint (or mint) extract
- Vegan dark chocolate chips
- Mint leaves (optional)
Mint is a neat herb that produces a cooling sensation on the tongue. It's sweet and perfect for all kinds of dishes, including sweet and savory meals. Think of vegan tagines and moussakas for satiating dinners and mint chocolate desserts.