Huacatay/Black Mint is an internationally beloved herb for flavoring sauces, teas, risotto, potatoes, chicken, fish, and many other dishes. Huacatay is one of the key ingredients in Peruvian aji verde sauce. It is the source of the essential oil marketed as “marigold oil”. The flavor of Huacatay can be described as a combination of basil, mint, and citrus. The leaves can be used fresh, dried, in paste form, or frozen. Huacatay stems can be bundled and hung around the house in order to repeal insects. Huacatay is considered a half hardy annual and can grow up to 6 feet tall. The roots of Black Mint can kill some perennial weeds.
Photo1 Credit: By 3dyottabyte (Own work) [<a href=”http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/3.0″>CC BY 3.0</a>], <a href=”https://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File%3AHUACATAY_001.jpg”>via Wikimedia Commons</a>