Which Mint to Grow for Cooking
Answered by: Conrad Richter
Question from: Howard Nontell
Posted on: March 09, 2005

I want to grow mint in my garden to use in a myriad of recipes but can’t seem to identify which mint in seed form will end up like the bunch of mint I pay too much for in the grocery store.

Mint suitable to be used in cooking cannot be grown from seeds. The seed-grown mint has a poor taste and you won’t want to waste your time with it.

I suspect English Mint in the Richters Herb Catalogue is the standard one used in mint jelly and lots of Asian recipes but I’d like to be sure before ordering.

English mint is one of the superior culinary mints -- and is highly recommended by me -- but it cannot be called the "standard" one there are so many forms and local variants of mint that it is impossible to say which is the "standard" one. Certainly, though, any of the spearmint or spearmint-like varieties (with the notable exception of the seed-grown menthol spearmint) are good for cooking, and that includes english mint.

Nothing like english mint is used in Asian cooking, at least judging from the Asian markets in the Toronto area. There are several forms popular in the Toronto Asian markets, including one that closely resembles our improved spearmint (http://www.richters.com/Web_store/web_store.cgi?product=X4042). As a single all-round variety for your needs, probably the improved spearmint is the one to get.

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