Lest you think this is turning into a blog about obscure, leafy ingredients, you might be right. But when I sniffed the very fragrant leaves of lemon verbena, or verveine, growing out-of-control at my friend Trisha’s house near Nice, and she told me to take as much as I wanted home, I dove for the clippers. And almost as soon as I got home, to preserve the taste, I infused them and churned up a batch of lemon verbena ice cream.
French people drink infusions and tisanes after dinner, which in English, we simply refer to as “herb teas.” But in France, what they call “tea” has black tea in it. Infusions and tisanes are made with herbs or other greenery.
Yet Arabic mint tea is called “tea” by the masses, and while it usually has some green tea in it, I can’t figure out the differentiation between “tea” made with leaves and “infusion” made with leaves.