Feb 26, 2010

Pineapple Mint

Pineapple Mint is a variegated hybrid of Apple Mint. The botanical name is Mentha suaveolens "Variegata." It has green and white variegated leaves which make it a pretty herb to grow in the garden and use in the kitchen. It's a perennial plant that produces long spikes of pale white or cream flowers and has a very sweet Pineapple scent.

True Pineapple Mint cannot be grown from seed and is hard to find because all the Mints cross readily.  It is best to plant them in the spring, even though it will take several weeks before they'll get noticeably larger. It is important to keep any rogue green stems cut off. If left to grow these green leaved stems will outgrow the variegated ones and you will loose the variegation. The result will still be tasty but it will be Apple Mint instead of Pineapple Mint.

Pineapple Mint is grown and harvested the same way as Apple Mint. As its name suggests, it has a pleasant pineapple flavor and the leaves are ideal to add to fruit cups and punches. Pineapple Mint is best used fresh. Pineapple Mint is good for garnishes because the thick leaves are slow to wilt. It is great used in iced tea.

Pineapple mint leaves make a good addition to potpourri's, particularly those with a fruity scent, such as a mix of lemon verbena, apple mint and other herbs with similar scents.

Pineapple Mint likes full sun in all but the hottest areas. It will grow to a height of 8-12 in and prefers partial shade and a moist, rich soil. Like all mints, it is an invasive plant which can take over a whole garden if it is not kept strictly under control. It is therefore a good herb for container growing. Pineapple Mint flower spikes are great for attracting bees and butterflies.

Pineapple-Mint Vinaigrette
~ 3 tablespoons  pineapple juice

~ 1 1/2 tablespoons water
~ 2 tablespoons cider vinegar
~ 2 teaspoons chopped fresh mint
~ 1/4 teaspoon fine sea salt
~ 1/4 teaspoon freshly ground pepper
~ 1/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil
Whisk pineapple juice, water, vinegar, mint, sea salt and pepper in a small bowl; slowly whisk in oil.


Anonymous said...

I love pineapple mint! Where I lived for a bit there was an annual herb festival and my bfff and I would go every year. She was always getting pineapple mint. yummy.

Robin said...

Gosh! I want some!