Young mint sprouts are considered the most flavorful, but fully-matured leaves are also fine to use. Before buying any mint, do what is called a ‘bruise test.’ Squeeze one of the mint leaves between your fingers: Good, fresh mint will release menthol and leave a strong scent on them.

Mint is a robust herb and can be bought in most markets all year round, though it is probably cropping up in your garden today. Sometimes it acts like an invasive weed!. It thrives in temperate climates. It will be one of the first plants in any garden to sprout in spring and it will grow under almost any condition.

Mint comes in varying shades of green, white, and purple. All mints have a few things in common: squared stems and flat, simple, sometimes fuzzy leaves. When shopping for mint, it’s important to know what you will be using it for. Peppermint and spearmint are the most common varieties of mint. Spearmint is better put to use in savory dishes and peppermint, in sweet.