Dried Spearmint, Mentha spicata, is also called dried mint, dried spearmint leaves, or dried mint leaves.
Dried Spearmint has an essential oil content of .5%.
What is Dried Spearmint
Dried Spearmint Leaves are also known as dried mint. If your recipe calls for mint (without specifically calling for Spearmint or Peppermint) this is most likely what it means. In the US we tend to think of spearmint as an herb used with lamb, in some sweet dishes, pastries (particularly chocolate) and of course in gum. In other parts of the world, especially in Greek, Middle Eastern and Turkish cuisine it is more often found in savory dishes.
History of Spearmint
Spearmint is indigenous to Europe and Southwest Asia, though its exact origin is unknown due to extensive early cultivation, it has been naturalized in North America and parts of Africa. It was first mentioned in the ancient Egyptian Ebers Papyrus, one of the oldest compilations of medical texts, from 1550 BC where mint is described as a digestive and used to soothe flatulence. Pliny the Elder (23-79AD), the Roman author of the celebrated Natural History encyclopedia, believed that when applied to the temples in the form of a broth, mint could get rid of a headache. Greek physicians such as Dioscorides (40-90 AD) and Galen (129-216 AD) thought that mint kept people from vomiting blood and speculated that it could prevent women from becoming pregnant.
In the aftermath of the Boston Tea Party (1773 AD), it became unpatriotic in Colonial America to drink tea so the use of herbs became a substitute to highly taxed British imported tea. Spearmint leaves were one of the more frequently used herbs for this. During this period Spearmint became an important cash crop in Connecticut.
The use of mint in culinary applications may be strongest in the Middle East where is has long been a key flavoring in the preferred meat of the region - lamb. It is also long been popular in the region’s salads, soups, stews, and teas.
The ideal temperature to grow Spearmint is 60-80°F, and while it can tolerate partial shade the plant tends to provide the most flavor when grown in full sunlight. Spearmint can be grown in a variety of growing conditions, but it thrives in moist, well-drained soil. Mint is a vigorous grower and does better in raised gardens or it's invasive runners can quickly overcome the growing area. Does not do well in dry soil so typically needs 1-2" of water per week.
Spearmint stems are square shaped and can become woody over time, with symmetrical, serrated leaves on opposite sides at the same height as the stem. Leave color may vary from dark green, grey- green, blue to paler colors all the way to yellow. Plants can reach 12" to 36"' tall when grown outdoors, while container plants only reach 12" to 24"' in height. The flowers are a rounded spear shape cluster and the colors range from white to purple. Harvest right before flowering by cutting the stems 1 inch from the ground. You can harvest Spearmint plants two or three times in one growing season.
Where is Our Dried Spearmint From
What does Dried Mint Taste Like
Refreshing and mellow with a delightfully pungent taste and lemony undertones.
Can You Use Dried Mint Instead of Fresh
Yes. Dried Mint is one of the herbs that is at least as good as the fresh version. Dried Mint is more potent than fresh due to the drying process that concentrates the volatile oils so you'll require less of it. We recommend using 1/3 to 1/2 the amount of dried spearmint to any recipe calling for fresh.
In Middle Eastern countries and in the eastern region of the Mediterranean dried mint is actually preferred over the fresh.
What Is Dried Mint Used For
Mint is a delightful herb that has surprising flexibility. In the US we tend to think of spearmint as an herb used with lamb, in some sweet dishes, pastries (particularly chocolate) and of course in gum. In other parts of the world, especially in Greek, Middle Eastern and Turkish cuisine it is more often found in savory dishes.
Dried mint is best used to compliment bolder flavors such as rubs, that are heavy on chiles and pepper, or hearty root vegetables. Spearmint also works well with fruit, meats, other herbs and is a key ingredient in many yogurt sauces. Dried mint is probably best known as a key ingredient in Middle Eastern Tabouli, the Greek Meatball dish Keftedes, as well as in the Turkish Cacik, which is a cucumber and yogurt salad. Spearmint also adds a delightful zest to casseroles, vegetable stews, lentils, salad, cooked vegetables and noodle and bean soups.
Unlike most dried herbs Dried Mint is usually added early in the cooking process due to its ability to hold on to its pungency and then a small amount of can be added at the end of the cooking process (or sprinkled on top of the dish) for its aromatic quality.
One of our favorite recipes using Dried Mint is Chicken Biryani.
Dried Mint pairs wells with basil, cardamom, cloves, cumin, dill, fenugreek, ginger, marjoram, oregano, paprika, parsley, sumac and thyme.
Dried Mint is very lightweight and there are approximately 17 cups per pound so please order accordingly.
Dried Mint Substitution
Substitute 1 teaspoon Dried Mint for 1 tablespoon fresh spearmint, or 1 teaspoon Dried Mint per 1/4 teaspoon spearmint extract.
You will see some online resources telling you that if you don’t have Dried Mint on hand you can use mint tea leaves. We're not fans of that thought process. Yes the Dried Mint sold commercially is most likely spearmint, but the leaves used for mint tea are most frequently peppermint. Spearmint and Peppermint have completely different flavor profiles and do not make good substitutes for one another.
|Also Called||Dried spearmint, dried spearmint leaves, or dried mint leaves|
|Recommended Uses||Casseroles, chocolate pastries, lamb, lentils, root vegetables, rubs, tabouli, vegetable stews, yogurt sauces, bean and noodle soups|
|Flavor Profile||Refreshing and mellow with a delightfully pungent taste and lemony undertones|
|Botanical Name||Mentha spicata|
|Cuisine||African, Asian, Indian, Mediterranean, and Middle Eastern|
|How To Store||Airtight container in a cool, dark place|
|Shelf Life||1-2 years|
|Country of Origin||Egypt|
|Dietary Preferences||Gluten Free, Non-GMO|
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