Wednesday, June 1, 2011

Here Comes the Sun.

Unfortunately, I didn't make it to the GCM last week.  You see after weeks of cold weather we had this torrential downpour and although I tried to get to the market I got drenched hailing a cab.  The weather was so bad last week that even the vendors at the market shut it down early.  But this week the mood at the GCM was considerably different.  The weather was actually nice and it was busy! Of course there was the requisite bongo playing to keep everybody in the mood......

However,  months of unseasonably cold weather can't get instantly tempered by a few days of sunshine.  There was still a lot of asparagus(es?), rhubarb, and mountains of arugula.  But now, we have some cool baby vegetables and finally I am starting to see some bulk herbs.  Daniel Fagerstrom of Green Gate Garden had some of the coolest looking wares on hand.

This peppermint is beautiful and I snatched it up immediately.  Cocktails with mint seem like a no brainer but even as Daniel was bagging it up I knew it might be a challenge.  To some folks mint is mint.  But there are many different types and even sub-categories of this green herb.  At a basic level the mint you and I enjoy in a mojito or julep is most often spearmint (which has many different types itself) which is a little sweeter and more pungent.  Peppermint can be said to be a little more sharp and definitely more herbaceous.  Also, as Daniel pointed out, peppermint is where menthol is actually derived, not spearmint.  One of my favorite liqueurs is Fernet Branca and it is known for its heavy dose of menthol.  Maybe some type of Italian Julep will work here?  Can't wait to find out.  Oh, and Happy Birthday Nancy Von Tolley!

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