Mentha spicata

Spearmint                                                                                                         Δυόσμος

Lamiaceae - mint family                                                                                         Dicot.


The common mint, Mentha spicata or spearmint, is one of the few herbs which flowers in the midsummer in Skopelos. It is fairly widespread , but prefers moist shady sites. It is variable in form and colour and is similar to other mints, which grow on the island but is most easily recognised by its characteristic aroma. It is native to Eurasia but has naturalised throughout the temperate zones throughout the world

Worldwide it is widely used, fresh or dried, as a culinary herb and in Greece is used to add flavour to salads, tzaziki, dolmades and in many other recipes.  It contains valuable aromatic oils which are commercially extracted for use as a flavouring in a variety of product, including toothpaste, sweets and chewing gum. It has been widely used in traditional medicine and more recently investigated for therapeutic properties.

Mentha after the river nymph Methi

spicatum - botanical Latin for spike

2-4mm,  20-50cm,
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The Ancient Myth of Menthe.


Menthe was a water naiad of the river Cocytus, one of the five river of the underworld. She was the mistress of Hades and boasted that her beauty surpassed that of his wife, Persephone. Hearing of this Hera, the Earth goddess and mother of Persephone was angered and turned Menthe into a common herb to be trampled under the feet of humans. Hades, however, was sympathetic towards her and gave to the herb an enticing fragrance. Common mint is considered a herb sacred to Hades and is often used in funeral rights.


Small fried meatballs

2 small onions

2 thick slice stale bread

1/2 kg. minced beef (mosxari)

2 tbsp. olive oil

2tsp. vinegar

11/2 tbsp. chopped mint

1 tsp. dried oregano

Salt & freshly ground black pepper


Oil for frying

Remove crusts from bread and process in blender to make fine breadcrumbs.

Soak in water.

Mince onions, add salt and leave to stand, then squeeze well.

Mix minced onion with breadcrumbs and squeeze out any excess water, combine with mince meat and add herbs, olive oil and vinegar.

Season with black pepper and a little more salt if necessary.

Knead well and ensure ingredients are well mixed.

Leave in cool place.

Shape meat into small round patties, coat in flour and fry in hot oil, till golden.

Drain and serve with salad and / or tzadziki.

Καλή όρεξη - Enjoy!

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