Long a symbol of hospitality, Greek mythology claims that mint was once the nymph Mentha. She angered Pluto’s wife Persephone, who turned her into this aromatic herb. There are many species of mint, the two most popular and widely available being peppermint and spearmint.Peppermint is the more pungent of the two. It has bright green leaves, purple-tinged stems and a peppery flavour. Spearmint leaves are grey-green or true green and have a milder flavour and fragrance.

Mint grows wild throughout the world and is cultivated in Europe, the United States and Asia. It is grown widely in Ireland. Mint is rich in Vitamins A, C, E, folic acid and iron and is a good source of riboflavin and calcium. Used in small amounts as a flavouring or garnish it is unlikely to make a significant contribution to nutrient intake.

Nutritional Value

Nutrient Raw
Energy kJ 181
Kcal 43
Protein g 3.8
Carbohydrate g 5.3
Fat g 0.7

A good source of…

Nutrient Fresh
Vitamin A One TickOne TickOne TickOne Tick
Vitamin E One TickOne TickOne TickOne Tick
Vitamin C One TickOne TickOne Tick
Riboflavin One Tick
Folic Acid One TickOne TickOne Tick
Calcium One TickOne Tick
Iron One TickOne TickOne Tick

For more information on nutrition and the details given above, check out our nutrition page.

Preparing and Using

Choose leaves that are evenly coloured with no sign of wilting. Store a bunch of mint, stems down, in a glass of water with a plastic bag over the leaves. Refrigerate in this manner for up to a week, changing the water every two days. Mint is used in both sweet and savoury dishes and in drinks such as the famous mint julep and mint tea. It is used to make mint sauce and mint jelly to accompany roast and grilled lamb. It can also be served with new potatoes, garden peas, and egg dishes or as a garnish with strawberries or some drinks.

Mint complements the following salads:cucumber, fruit, mixed greens, pasta, pea, and tomato. It is used in lamb stews, pea and tomato soups. It goes well with chicken, lamb,and pork. The vegetables that work well with mint include: carrots, celery, corn, cucumber,green beans, peas, potatoes, spinach, and tomatoes. It is used as a garnish, in marinades and in fruit, ice cream and chocolate desserts.It is used in both sweet and savoury sauces to accompany meats, fruit and desserts.


For some mint recipes, visit the Bord Bia website here

Soy and Honey Glazed Rainbow Trout with Cucumber and Mint

The marinade of soy sauce, honey and wine vinegar adds an oriental kick to this dish.

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Roast Leg of Lamb with Honey Orange Glaze and Port and Mint Dressing

The best Sunday roast and very little effort involved!

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