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|Food Buzz: History of Mint|
Lime mint is a citrus variety grown for its fragrant leaves. Growing up to 16” tall the Lime mint plant produces rounded green leaves that are oftentimes brushed with a burgundy to bronze blush. In the summer and fall months the Lime mint plant will produce petite purple flower spikes. Lime mint has a tangy citrus-lime taste and aroma with subtle nuances of mint, a flavor which is enhanced when crushed releasing the aromatic oil in the leaves.
Lime mint is typically available in the summer months.
Lime mint or Mentha x piperita subsp. citrata is a member of the Lamiaceae or Labiatae family and a hybrid of common mint. Mints are classified as aromatic herbs and they are almost exclusively perennials, rarely annuals. Like many varieties of mint, Lime mint is often used for pest control in gardens due to its ability to attract beneficial insects such as butterflies and bees and detract harmful insects such as aphids, fleas and ants.
Lime mint can be used fresh or dried for both savory and sweet applications. It can be muddled and used to add a citrusy tang to cocktails, tea and dressings. Use when preparing sauces or rubs for seafood preparations. Chopped leaves work well in both fruit and green salads. Pair with other aromatic herbs in herb based sauces such as pesto or mint chutney. Add whole leaves to ice cubes, popsicles and sorbets.
Originally native to European countries, today Lime mint has been naturalized in temperate regions around the world. It prefers full sun to partial shade and can thrive in a variety of different moist soils. An aggressively growing herb, if not monitored Lime mint will quickly spread throughout a garden. To prevent running grow in individual pots or sunken containers in a garden bed.