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Article: Seasoned Greetings! Traditional flavors can spice up your holidays this year.: hot ginger, and cool mint

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Liquidambar2
Mount Vernon, KY

January 2, 2013
9:21 PM

Post #9373767

That was a wonderful article. Something magical about spices.
I always think of Errol Flynn holding a pretty girl as winds fills the sails and they head for the spice islands to live happily ever after. .
The red on the nutmeg making mace - who knew - what a great picture!

Ginger of course is an anti-inflammatory - I have to point that out for I am a big fan of any food of that nature.
I bought some fresh one time (probably did not know what I was doing) - did you all know that ginger can be as hot as any of the hottest hot spicy peppers!!!! Except with pepper the oil remains in your mouth and with ginger the heat goes away right away.

Peppermint - Is it true, do you know - that it is a man made variety that orgianally came from spearmint?
I made lamb for the first time ever a couple of years back, and paid a hefty price. Krogers tries to make sure they give you good recipes. and the guys behind the meat counter were very helpful. They said not to use peppermint but spearmint for the sauce that goes on the lamb. I made it and the sauce was really good. I could see how it would help gentle the taste of more mature mutton.

carrielamont

carrielamont
Bedford, TX
(Zone 8a)

January 3, 2013
12:18 PM

Post #9374310

Your question: is peppermint created from spearmint? (Or was it that way originally?) I never heard that, but you've gone and gotten me interested! Stand by while I take off and try to discover a little quick history. I know Jill (critterologist) has written a lot about mint, so maybe her articles have more information about mint's origins.

Please note--I did NOT take that picture (of nutmeg and mace). I wish I could go to the Spice Islands some day...maybe that's just another article. Except Jean-Jacques Segalen practically lives there--closer than I'll ever get, at least. Thanks for reading and for commenting.

carrielamont

carrielamont
Bedford, TX
(Zone 8a)

January 3, 2013
1:41 PM

Post #9374383

http://usmintindustry.org/
Preliminary research suggests (I've been watching Bones a lot recently--can you tell) that neither spearmint nor peppermint was hybridized from the other. Ancient Romans and Greeks too had mint. Think of present Greek food--it uses mint, right? And the mint industry council says peppermint cannot be synthesized (like vanilla or cinnamon can). Next question: what does peppermint have to do with pepper and spearmint to do with spears? I'll get back to you, or maybe that's another article.
Liquidambar2
Mount Vernon, KY

January 4, 2013
3:34 PM

Post #9375604

Heeee, heee, heee, too funny Dr. Bones!
They can't synthisize mint? Well - hump, I am suprised. I don't think they do a good job synthisizing cinnamon by the way. But do a great job with vanilla, chocolate, and banana.

So neither came from neither.
Egg on my face - or the who ever wrote it (that I do not remember). I will put that little myth behind me then.

Oh hear is something else I wonder about.
You know all those peppermints they always advertise in those plant catalogs
Chocolate mint, orange mint, peppermint, so forth.
Well I collected them - oh silly me.
In the spring when I went to tiddy them up and make them get in their place with all those pretty labels carved in concrete rocks - well - I really had trouble .

Then I read an article that peppermint is just peppermint.
With that in mind I smelled my mints with a more open mind and I think they are right.

All they had to do was just suggest I could smell chocolate with the mint and my feeble mind agreed. Yeah they smelled like that when I first got them through the mail but then as you see what happened later.
I sure thought I could smell something else in with the peppermint.

I am waitng untill you get back with the spear -- I bet because the leave are lancet shaped and the pepper -----
I got nothing unless it is hot to the nose sort of. .

carrielamont

carrielamont
Bedford, TX
(Zone 8a)

January 4, 2013
4:08 PM

Post #9375631

Golly, I'm sorry; I got lost!

I honestly forgot...I was on Wrigley and his pepsin chewing gum in the shape of spears...because of spear-mint, not the other way around...and thinking I should do a whole article about the Chicle plant and history of chewing gum...and then I went to see what dictionary.com had to say and I was ASTONISHED to read that mint (plants) come from Greek (I knew, the goddess Minthe), but mint (like the Franklin Mint or or a newly minted penny) is a completely different word!!!!!!! So the money mint is not the same as the minty-fresh mint. And I agree about vanilla; vanillin tastes pretty ok to me as long as it's buried in a cookie or something.

But I totally forgot...it's not because of the leaf shape, unless it is. Oh, but here's something: mints hybridize a lot with each other, like coleus or aquilegia do. (I forget the common name of those but I think it starts with D--you see, I'm fading fast.) (Nope--COLUMBINE.) So they cutting-propagate the mints to be sure of what they're getting. I can't really comment on your gullibility or whether different mints really do smell like pineapple or chocolate, or thyme like lime (I have lime thyme) or ginger like basil or basil like ginger, except to say that we both should remember that taste and smell are so closely related and in such an emotional, visceral way! I can tell my lime thyme apart from the common thyme, because it tastes/smells different. If I can possibly remember my mission, I will return, but don't stay up too late!!!
Liquidambar2
Mount Vernon, KY

January 4, 2013
7:19 PM

Post #9375817

ohhh, too funny- I stay in a dizzy, confussing mind set too.

I now remind myself of those tee shirts my daughter and her friends use to wear in middle school - the words dazed and confused were written on them and they were just a tad out of focus.

I agree with you on the lemon/lime thyme and the cinnamon/lemon/regular basil and the pineapple sage (Ohhh I wish it would survive the winter) I use to buy then every year..
But I think we have been dupped on the different smells of the peppermint. Oh, yes dazed and confused.

I am not waiting up for you tonight because I see that' heee,heee, heee - you need to go to bed and tomorrow perhaps will be better.

carrielamont

carrielamont
Bedford, TX
(Zone 8a)

January 5, 2013
11:50 AM

Post #9376235

All right, "peppermint" is Menthe piperita or peppery mint. http://www.chacha.com/question/where-did-the-word-peppermint-come-from

"Spearmint" is Menthe spicata or mint with spear-like shaped leaves. So give the gardener a prize for brilliant intuition!
Liquidambar2
Mount Vernon, KY

January 6, 2013
3:25 PM

Post #9377474

intuition ahhh does that mean smart?
It sounds like you are on the ball today - bright eyed and bushy tail and all.

carrielamont

carrielamont
Bedford, TX
(Zone 8a)

January 6, 2013
4:27 PM

Post #9377559

Ha ha ha intuition = common sense! (In the best way possible.) Normally I need three confirming websites before I can 'guess'.
Liquidambar2
Mount Vernon, KY

January 8, 2013
12:08 AM

Post #9378807

I understand that. I am up at 3 in the morning trying to get my three websites all lined up.

I am trying to confirm or not confirm that the only sweetener that I can now use (sugar is out) maltodextrin does or does not contain lots of MSGs. I get some website that talks about how MSGs ( would that be considered an herb for it sure adds to the flavor of stuff-- and it can be bought in an herb looking jar) are not labeled as MSGs, has 40 other names, and Maltodextrin is one of them.

Another one says not - it is how the stuff is processed and it ain't processed that away.
who knows, I give up - and going to bed.

carrielamont

carrielamont
Bedford, TX
(Zone 8a)

January 9, 2013
9:05 AM

Post #9380008

Maybe I should write about MSG. Not really anything to do with plants, though. How about molasses? (That's next, and it is a better sweetener than sugar.) Sleep tight.
Liquidambar2
Mount Vernon, KY

January 9, 2013
7:51 PM

Post #9380604

I think it would be a great article.
I do put it in my cooking.
If it calls for brown sugar - I forget the sugar - I don't have it my house and just put the molasses in it. Lots of people have no idea what brown sugar is - you would teach them something.

What is the difference in:
Molasses
Sulfur molasses
blackstrap molasses
sorghum
Maybe you can tell me why Wal Mart molasses is thin like maple syrup and why Save a Lot's molasses is so thick (they say on both of the label no corn syrup added)?
What happened to Save a Lot that they reduced the size of the bottles of it? Is it catching on as a healthier sugar.

Is it a healthier sugar?

What are all the minerals in it-- iron in it and sulfur (?)
What else???
Oh, I ran into a whole family that made a good living growing, making and selling molasses.
They went to all the festivals taking the press and mule with them. If things keeps going down hill - I might try to horn it to their business. They also sold lots of locally grown honey.

I planted sorghum once for the kids - and if they ran through them - gosh those leaves are sharp.

Lots of ways to go with it.You have me excited about seeing what you come up with.

MSGs by the way- do occur naturally too - put that on the back burner maybe.
Don't forget ginger/cloves/cinnamon/all spice/nutmeg/ mace/ goes with it so very well.

carrielamont

carrielamont
Bedford, TX
(Zone 8a)

January 10, 2013
8:24 AM

Post #9380907

Ack! I am going to stop answering on this thread but make myself a note for a future article (or three). Sally Miller did write an article about Sorghum once but I don't remember if she talked about syrup.

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