The internet is full of fabulous facts about everything from current events to the history basket weaving. Because of this, as we research for our daily content on food trucks, food carts and street food, we stumble upon some items of knowledge that we just did not know. We have decided when these fun facts pop up, that we would share them with our readers in our section titled “Did You Know?”
For today’s Did You Know fun food facts we will look at Peppermint.
The Facts: Peppermint (Mentha x piperita L.) in the mint family (Lamiaceae) is a natural hybrid of M. aquatica and M. spicata first found in a field of spearmint in England in 1696; it is vegetatively propagated since it does not breed true from seed.
- Peppermint has escaped cultivation and can be found growing wild in moist areas throughout Europe and North America.
- December 3rd is National Peppermint Latte Day.
- Peppermint oil is produced by specialized cells on the underside of the leaves.
- The best time to harvest and collect the oil is on a sunny day as flowering is just beginning. This is when menthol is at its peak.
- Peppermint plants grow to be 18 – 36 inches tall and about 24 inches wide.
- Peppermint is the number 1 selling flavor among non-chocolate, hard candies.
- Ancient Greeks believed mint could cure hiccups
- The US produces 70% of the Worlds peppermint supply.
- Peppermint has been used in Eastern and Western traditional medicine as an aromatic, antispasmodic, and antiseptic in treating indigestion, nausea, sore throat, colds, toothaches, cramps, and cancers.
- Peppermint is the most extensively used volatile oil, both commercially and medicinally.