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Plant Answer Line Question

Keywords: Ocimum, Mentha, Cooking

I'm writing an article for a travel magazine about locally grown culinary herbs which are used by chefs in our area. I found a reference to something called "cinnamon mint," but there doesn't seem to be any information available about this plant. In fact, I'm not sure the name is accurate. If it's not an actual mint, are there other mint varieties used in cooking?


I am going on a hunch, having found nothing that suggests there is a species of mint which is called cinnamon mint, that the plant in question is actually cinnamon basil. This is commonly used in cooking. I looked in Mints: A Family of Herbs and Ornamentals by Barbara Perry Lawton (Timber Press, 2002) and noticed cinnamon basil in the index. This plant's botanical name is Ocimum basilicum 'Cinnamon,' and it is described in the chapter entitled "Herbal Mints" (as opposed the what the author calls "true mints") as follows:
"Vigorous plant with a strong flavor of cinnamon combined with the typical basil taste. Terminal spikes of purple flowers rise above glossy green foliage."

Utah State University Cooperative Extension has a publication about mint which mentions several types for culinary use.

Date 2017-02-16
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August 01 2017 12:36:01