Mint


Mint -

A general name for a large number of perennial plants, the best known of which are Peppermint, Spearmint and Pennyroyal, cultivated chiefly for the essential oil which contains their aromatic and medicinal principles.

About 90% of the supply of Peppermint and Spearmint oils is produced and distilled in an area which has the city of Kalamazoo, Mich., for its center and within a seventy-five miles radius from that city. Their chief uses are in medicine, confectionery, chewing-gum, liqueurs (as Crème de Menthe), etc. The annual consumption of Peppermint is about 300,000 pounds; that of Spearmint about 25,000 pounds. Spearmint leaves are also used for Mint-sauce and other culinary purposes and for the flavoring of beverages such as Mint Julep.

Pennyroyal was at one time extensively employed medicinally, but it is now grown only in comparatively small quantitites and is used almost exclusively for seasoning.

For oil extraction, the plants are cut down when mature and in full bloom, and allowed to cure like hay. They go next into large wooden vats through which steam is forced, the heat rupturing the oil cells and permitting the oil to escape with the steam. The oil is separated after the condensation of the steam.

Dried Mint is retailed in packages, bottles and cans. It should always be kept in a dry place.

Mint is easily grown under almost any conditions and is a heavy producer - a bed three feet square will give a surprisingly large quantity. If to be used as a dried herb, it is best to cut the stalks just prior to full bloom and to spread them out in a shady location where they can dry slowly.


Arround Mint in The Grocer's Encyclopedia


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Mint Extract
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