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What a Mint!

Who hasn't enjoyed the fresh taste of mint in yummy Peppermint Patty, or chewing gum, breath-mints, mint tea, and in those crazy delicious mint juleps? I, for one, will always be in love with the familiar taste of mint in Moroccan tea that I became accustomed to drinking when I was a young child.

Mint is believed to have had its origins in Asia and the Mediterranean region. In many ancient cultures, serving mint tea was a symbolic gesture as a sign of hospitality when friends and guests would visit. And it is still the tradition in the Middle East for mint tea to be served to guests on their arrival.

There are over 30 species of the mint herb with peppermint and spearmint being the two most commonly used. Other close relatives of the mint family are, curly mint, ginger mint, apple mint, pineapple mint, eau de cologne mint, water mint, penny royal, Corsican mint to name a few.

Of the two most popular members of the mint family (peppermint and spearmint) peppermint is more pungent than spearmint and can be easily recognized by its purple stems and smooth, green leaves; it is often used in mint tea and in making candies. Where spearmint has a milder taste and works better in cooking, it is widely used in making gum and is commonly added as an ingredient to sauces, dressings, and desserts; it is also used as a garnish in most restaurants dishes. The leaves are a pointed oval shape with serrated edges and you will most likely find it at the produce section in supermarkets.

As far as nutritional value, mint contains a number of vitamins and minerals and is rich in Vitamins A and C; it also contains smaller amounts of Vitamin B2, as well as a wide range of essential minerals such as manganese, copper, iron, potassium and calcium. Consumed in moderate amounts mint is also an effective digestive aid and an effective breath freshener.

With its distinctive fragrance, there are so many wonderful ways in which to use the mint herb, from making delicious homemade desserts, mint jellies, sauces and dressings to hot & cold beverages such as teas, and cocoa.

Since mint tea is one of my favorite beverages, Id like share this simple Moroccan Mint tea recipe which I know you will enjoy. In fact, you can savor this tea all day long if you like.

Moroccan Mint Tea - click link.