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ISO Lemon Balm

Late Blooming Onion Feb 5, 2008 08:22 AM

I had a wonderful Winterlicious experience at Quince last night, that concluded with a white chocolate and yogurt mille-feuille surrounded by delicious lemon balm. I had never seen or heard of this herb previously, and had to ask the waiter exactly what I was tasting. Wow! Like a sweet lemon candy, the flavour of this herb certainly packs a punch. Does anyone know where I can find it in the GTA?

Also, is this common in restaurants right now in Toronto, or could it be the beginning of a new trend?

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  1. Otonabee RE: Late Blooming Onion Feb 5, 2008 08:28 AM

    I used to have this growing in my garden. It does REALLY well... Basically a mint variety of plant. If you are looking for the plant itself you can always contact Richters in Goodwood.


    3 Replies
    1. re: Otonabee
      Mike from Hamilton RE: Otonabee Feb 6, 2008 04:48 AM

      Was just going to suggest Richters, but like most mint varieties, it grows really well, I had to rip out an entire chunk of my garden to contain its spread.

      1. re: Mike from Hamilton
        Otonabee RE: Mike from Hamilton Feb 6, 2008 06:06 AM

        Pretty much the same case here. It managed to crowd out pretty much my entire herb patch. Have to say it is a lovely plant though.

        Really mint does best if planted in concrete :)

        1. re: Otonabee
          ceebee1 RE: Otonabee Feb 6, 2008 07:02 AM

          I was going to suggest Richter's also. I dare you to come away with just one plant!

          One way to contain the spread is to plant it in a large pot, then plant the pot in the garden. It's not a perfect solution but it does helpful.

    2. m
      Mila RE: Late Blooming Onion Feb 6, 2008 06:39 AM

      Almost positively it comes from Cookstown Greens.

      Available here:

      Cookstown Greens
      Thornton, ON, Canada

      1. jayt90 RE: Late Blooming Onion Feb 6, 2008 07:31 AM

        It is also called bee balm, because bees are attracted to the scent and flowers.
        That would not keep me from growing it, as they are always in a good mood around this plant!

        3 Replies
        1. re: jayt90
          cmkdvs RE: jayt90 Feb 6, 2008 08:05 AM

          I'm not familiar with lemon balm (Melissa officinalis) being known as bee balm; that's generally given as a common a name for plants in the genus Monarda. The growth habits and uses of Melissa and Monarda are quite different.

          1. re: cmkdvs
            pearlD RE: cmkdvs Feb 6, 2008 08:44 AM

            Yes, I agree quite different...while I do not know 'lemon balm'...I do know Monarda and it is called Bee Balm. I also think lemon balm is part of the same genus as 'mint'...best grown (any mint) in a Pot that you sink into your garden otherwise be prepared for it to totally take over anything in it's path.

            1. re: pearlD
              jayt90 RE: pearlD Feb 6, 2008 08:49 AM

              The two plants are sometimes confused, probably by some seed companies,

              Bee Balm seeds I have grown have white flowers; the native variety apparently red or pink.

        2. l
          Late Blooming Onion RE: Late Blooming Onion Feb 6, 2008 08:02 AM

          Thank you for the many replies.

          When I like something I've tried in a restaurant, I want to use it in my own cooking as soon as possible. Does anyone know of this herb being available for purchase in Toronto markets right now?

          1 Reply
          1. re: Late Blooming Onion
            acorn RE: Late Blooming Onion Feb 6, 2008 10:31 AM

            Most restaurants get their Lemon Balm from a company named Fresh Herbs By Daniel and they are the seedlings of the plant {very tender}. Cookstown sells the older tougher mature plant, that like mint is not so good for straight eating. I have seen the same seedlings from FHBDaniel at the lower floor of the St Lawrence Market

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