Mint leaves (known as Menta in Spanish) are in the family of aromatic herbs that are used to add specific aroma to dishes. They taste like very mild peppermint with a cool aftertaste.
On visual inspection, they look so much like our Scent leaves (Nchanwu, Efirin) in that the leaves are arranged in opposite pairs on the main stalk and the leaves from these 2 herbs look very much alike.
But the scents and tastes of Mint Leaves and Scent Leaves are not the same at all. I have tried it in a few Nigerian dishes: Ofe Akwu, Pepper Soup and as vegetable to spice up my Beef Stew and each of these meals tasted like I added … Drummer Boy Air Freshener to the meals. It was a very odd flavour for me and I did not enjoy the meals at all. Even my husband who says “yummy” to anything and everything ? says that it’s a thumbs down from him.
So can Mint Leaves be used as alternative to our Scent Leaves? It’s a big NO from me and my family. If you have never tried it and you are curious about the taste, do try it and see if you like it.
I must add that Mint Leaf is a great addition to some Mediterranean meals that I prepare in my home such as Meat Balls Sauce but for these Nigerian meals mentioned above? Not a good idea if you have authentic Nigerian taste buds.
I know that some people swear by Mint Leaves as an alternative in these Nigerian meals so do you use Mint Leaves? What do you think about the taste in Nigerian meals? Is it a spot-on scent leaves alternative or are you just managing it? ?