FW: [Sca-cooks] Danelaw feast: peppermint
- It is just plain freaky how we can all start talking about the same thing at
Behalf Of Samrah
Sent: Monday, July 18, 2005 5:47 PM
To: Cooks within the SCA
Subject: RE: [Sca-cooks] Danelaw feast: peppermint
otsisto <otsisto@...> wrote:
>*Mints - you may want to exclude Peppermint as I believe that it is a lateperiod hybrid. >Hybrid of marshmint and spearmint.
I don't believe there is a reason to particularly omit peppermint. Until
the 17th century all mints were used in the same way, with little attempt to
differentiate between them. This could be because if you plant two mints
together, they hybridize themselves extremely easily, and it is in fact
difficult to keep the varieties true unless you separate them severely (like
in pots ;o) I had lots of spear/pepper before I learned this.
>From Lawless, in the Encyclopedia of Essential Oils, ISBN 1-852030-311-5,p.131:
"Originally a cultivated hybrid between M. viridis [I don't believe this is
spearmint, M. spicata. I don't have the common name easily.] and M.
acquatica, known to have been propagated from before the seventeenth century
Mints have been cultivated since ancient times in China & Japan. In Egypt
evidence of a type of peppermint has been found in tombs dating from 1000
The above mentions the first record of deliberate propagation in England.
Trust me if those two mints were anywhere near each other, they could have
hybridized themselves. Mints love to do that sort of thing. So, if
peppermint works better in some of your dishes, I wouldn't hesitate.
Spearmint was used by the ancient Greeks in their bathwaters (same source,
p. 132), and it can be easier to find commercially grown, so if it works for
you charge on ahead. I just don't want peppermint to get a bum reputation
for being late period unnecessarily when it in all probability it has been
around very early on.
Samrah, Mint Enthusiast
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