I know what you are thinking: Andes, Ghirardelli, Junior Mints, After Eights, Thin Mints, ice cream and a large selection of desserts. Yes, all of these are chocolate mint flavors, but you know what else is? Chocolate mint, the herb.
Mentha x pieperata ‘Chocolate Mint’ is a hybrid member of the peppermint family which is a cross between watermint and spearmint. It is easy to grow but can be temperamental if not under a watchful eye. The plant is a ground-creeper and will grow runners under the soil. If not contained, it can overrun a garden very quickly. The plant likes cool temperatures and does not do well in continued full sun. It can be regrown from cuttings of an original plant and is a perennial (meaning it will come back after its growing season). Not only can the leaves be used fresh, but they can also be frozen or dried for future applications.
The mint can be used in a variety of food items when you are looking for that chocolaty-mint flavor. It makes a great tea and can be incorporated into baking items. Chopping some up and folding it into vanilla ice cream creates a Chocolate Mint ice cream without the green food coloring.
Someone say Mojito? How about a chocolate dessert Mojito cocktail? Just switch out one mint for the other. How about an accent on a deep roasted Latin beef dish? Make a chocolate mint oil and decorate the plate with small accent dots of the chocolate mint oil. Then, there is the obvious; it makes a great leafy garnish on top of a dessert or on a dessert tray. The light but present chocolate flavor can enhance a diner’s experience.
Grab a pot and chocolate mint plant and grow some inspiration today!