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ISO Lemon Balm

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. 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.

    http://www.richters.ca/

    3 Replies
    1. re: Otonabee

      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

        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

          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. Almost positively it comes from Cookstown Greens.
      http://www.cookstowngreens.com/page/a...

      Available here:
      http://www.cookstowngreens.com/page/f...

      -----
      Cookstown Greens
      Thornton, ON, Canada

      1. 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

          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

            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

              The two plants are sometimes confused, probably by some seed companies,
              http://www.questia.com/library/encycl...

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

        2. 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

            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