Calamint (Nipitella)(Dried)

If Calamint (Nipitella) were a Beatle, it’d be John, for sure. An inspiring leader in any dish, with new ideas that take classics, and transform them into something new, and wonderful.

The dried herb is priced like a rare LP, but when it’s the only game on a continent, if you don’t grow it, you owe it.

1  oz. / 28 g.

$18.00

PURPOSE

WHAT IS IT?

A herb in the mint family, calamint, which is grown, and consumed, all over the world, is very rarely offered commercially as a spice, in dried form.

EXPERIENCE

The taste is mildly pungent, like spearmint, but much warmer. It has notes of orange, oregano, marjoram, and mint. The dried leaves are a lead spice, not a role player.

Fresh, the flowers are edible, delicate, and delightful, as a finishing flavor in salads, or as a garnish for egg dishes.

In Tuscany, whose cuisine takes advantage of the plentiful calamint growing wildly in cracks and crags everywhere, the local recipes use it more like oregano, in savory dishes. There’s a fair amount of it used in Sicilian cooking, as well.

Like oregano, its essential oils, especially its dominant e-oil, pulegone, work well because it permeates meats, and the fats in meats, very well. It also works with vegetables, legumes, and fungi that absorb fats, like mushrooms, beans, and artichokes.

Occasionally, fresh, it doubles for basil.

BUYING TIP

In North America, we find it under the Tuscan name, nipitella. You have three options:

  1. Buy the dried, which is a tad pricey, per ounce, due to its one limited distributor;
  2. Buy the plant at a nursery. Calamint is grown around the world. In North America, you’ll find that it’s used as a pretty ground cover (Lesser Calamint, or Calamintha Nipenta)
  3. Grab some seeds, or a cutting from a plant,  and grow your own fresh. It grows very easily from a cutting stuck into the ground, and watered periodically (A dry soil plant.).

USE TIP

Calamint can overpower other flavors. Use sparingly.

CULINARY GEOGRAPHY

Native across Southern Europe, the Mediterranean, it has been transplanted all over the world. It grows in Eastern Europe, and some parts of the Americas. It flourishes in arid landscapes, and in wastelands.

TRADITIONAL USES

  • Fusili with pecorino romano and calamint;
  • Braised artichokes with calamint;
  • Tortino de patate e funghi (A tart with mushrooms, potatoes, and cheese;
  • Cassiedu – A goat cheese made with nipitella.

A FEW IMPROVISATIONAL RIFFS:

  • Sea bass ceviche topped with calamint;
  • Tagine with lamb, tomatoes, mushrooms, and calamint couscous;
  • Bay shrimp cheese and calamint savory muffins;
  • Peanut beef stew finished with calamint.

THE BACKSTORY

Calamint has been used in Southern Europe since the early Roman civilization.

AKA

  • aghet
  • am
  • amakuba
  • āpattī
  • āphata
  • atiati
  • basil thym
  • bela
  • bencana
  • betbagtçylyk
  • biparyaẏa
  • bipatā
  • calament
  • calamint
  • calaminta
  • calaminte
  • calaminto
  • caraminto
  • catmint
  • czyścica
  • dambudziko
  • emperor’s mint
  • inhlekelele
  • intlekele
  • jaeang
  • jeruk nipis
  • kælaminṭ
  • kalama
  • kalamant
  • kalamar
  • kalamidad
  • kalamin
  • kalamina
  • kalāminṟ
  • kalamïnt
  • kalamint
  • kalaminta
  • kalaminto
  • kalamintu
  • kalamita
  • kalampóki
  • kalīniti
  • kev puas tsuaj
  • krohmohantoray
  • kyālamiṇṭ
  • kyawwattantarr
  • lesser calamint
  • malaia
  • mentucci
  • mountain balm
  • mountain mint
  • mill mint
  • mill mountain
  • msiba
  • musiba
  • nepitella
  • nesreḱa
  • nipitella
  • phaiphibad
  • pōʻino
  • tintahal
  • tlokotsi
  • tsoka
  • ubedureba
  • vipatti
  • vipattu
  • ẁānn̂ả
  • καλαμπόκι
  • каламин
  • каламинт
  • каламіна
  • каламінт
  • несреќа
  • უბედურება
  • աղետ
  • קאַלאַמינט
  • קלמינט
  • آفت
  • ئاپەت
  • ڏوهاري
  • مصيبة
  • مصیبت
  • ካሊንት
  • आपत्ती
  • विपत्ति
  • ਬਿਪਤਾ
  • આફત
  • ಕ್ಯಾಲಮಿಂಟ್
  • କାଲାମିଣ୍ଟ |
  • విపత్తు
  • കലാമിന്റ്
  • කැලමින්ට්
  • ว่านน้ำ
  • ໄພພິບັດ
  • ကျောက်တံတား
  • គ្រោះមហន្តរាយ
  • 재앙
  • カラミント

Get top quality from our friends at La Boîte, NY.

Where to Find It
SpiceJungle.com

Get top quality from our friends at SpiceJungle..

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