Tisana de limón y menta (Lime and mint tisane)

Tisana de limón y menta (Lime and mint infusion)

This delicious and bone-warming tisana de limón y menta (Dominican medicinal lime and mint tisane) is used to alleviate cold and flu symptoms. And it was made with scrumped limes.

Have you ever heard the word “scrumping” before? No? You’re not alone.

As it happens, neither have most of the world’s non-British English speakers, as far as I could find. And when they have, most of them think of a completely different activity than the one in the minds of Brits.

Allow me to explain where I am going…

Limones

You see, besides food, Aunt Ilana and I have another passion: words. A good thing, because, seeing as our English and Spanish come from different sides of the Atlantic, we basically speak different languages. You know, “separated by a common language” and all that.

One of our pastimes is to find adequate translations for obscure food-related words. Empalagoso (Spanish for sickly-sweet, but with other connotations) is a favorite project of ours. Lately we find another such words: marotear.

Are you confused yet? Good, welcome to our world.

Tisana de limón y menta

What is “marotear”, or scrumping, for that matter? Let’s start with marotear: marotear is stealing fruits from other people’s trees. It is specifically a semi-urban or suburban activity, one that countless Dominican boys dabbled in back in the days when our cities were much smaller and surrounded by suburban fruit gardens.

Scrumping, as I was kindly informed by Aunt Ilana, means the same thing, but from a British perspective. It is most commonly associated with apples, but can certainly be used for other fruits.

Both are illegal activities, but the kind that were more likely to land you in hot water with your parents than with the police.

Tisana de limón y menta

But here’s the thing: scrumping, for the most part an unknown word, appears to have a, er… more risqué connotation in the US. Go ahead, look it up, I am not going to tell you. Marotear in the Dominican Republic only has one meaning.

Ok, and all this is apropos of what? Well, I made this tea with scrumped limes. More or less (the trees are on the side of walking paths where we live), but for a proper girl from the 1970s this is the closest I ever got to marotear. Just don’t tell my mom.

By the way, this lovely infusion is the Dominican answer to colds and flu. I am not an expert on the medicinal qualities of these plants (and they do have them), but at least it tastes heavenly and the vapor relieves stuffy noses.

Aunt Clara

Tisana de limón y menta (Lime and mint infusion)

Prep Time: 5 minutes

Cook Time: 20 minutes

Total Time: 25 minutes

Yield: 4 cups

Tisana de limón y menta (Lime and mint infusion)

Ingredients

  • 1 lime or lemon
  • Honey or sugar
  • 12 leaves from a lime or lemon tree
  • 4 mint leaves
  • 8 cups of water

Instructions

  1. Wash the leaves.
  2. In a deep pot (preferably stainless steel) heat the water until it comes to the boil.
  3. Add the lime and mint leaves and cook over very low heat until the water has reduced to half or has a light green color.
  4. Remove from the heat and add 1 tablespoon of lime juice
  5. Remove leaves.
  6. Sweeten with honey or sugar to taste.
  7. Serve hot.
http://www.dominicancooking.com/871-tisana-limon-menta-lime-tea-infusion.html

Originally published: Jul 7, 2007

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{ 6 comments… add one }

  • Jody December 7, 2011, 9:21 AM

    Sounds lovely but just one question…where does one who doesn't have access to lime or lemon trees get a hold of leaves from these trees? Or is there a reasonable substitute?

    • Aunt Clara December 7, 2011, 11:11 AM

      Over at the Spanish site somebody suggested you plant your own lime. It will grow in a pot, and while it might not bear fruits, they look nice and you can have the leaves.

  • Marlene Mata December 7, 2011, 10:02 AM

    I am curious…I don't know if this herbal tea that we make in the New York City is the same as people in Dominican Republic do due to different season. I remembered seeing my mom and other Dominicans make a tea that they brought the leaves from Dominican Republic (I don't know what they are called) along with cloves, cinnamon, ginger root, and slice of apples.

    • Aunt Clara December 7, 2011, 11:12 AM

      This sounds more like mulled wine or cider, but without cider or wine.

  • yoyome March 7, 2014, 4:39 PM

    Donde yo vivo no puedo conseguir hojas de limon, Podria usar limon u otra cosa como sustituto.