The leaves of several species (there are over 40 varieties) of the plant Mentha, the commonest in culinary use being spearmint (mentha spicata or crispa). Pennyroyal (mentha pulegium) is also used in the kitchen and peppermint (mentha piperita) is cultivated for its oil. There are many varieties of mint in cultivation, each with a distinctive bouquet and flavour, but here we will describe only the three mentioned above. Spearmint and peppermint leaves are deep green, long , pointed and crinkled. Pennyroyal has small oval leaves, greyish in colour.
Bouquet: Spearmint and peppermint: aromatic and fresh
Pennyroyal: aromatic, pungent and acrid
Flavour: Spearmint is generally a sweet flavour imparting a cool sensation to the mouth. Peppermint has a stronger menthol taste. Pennyroyal is strong with a medicinal flavour.
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