lemon balm is grown for its aromatic heart-shaped and toothed leaves. When simply touched, pressed, or bruised they release an intense lemon fragrance. Fresh leaves reveal a sweet lemon zest taste with a hint of mint.
During the summer months, the plant matures and small white flowers full of nectar appear. This nectar is harvested by bees for honey making. Lemon balm honey produces citrus flavors with mint undertones, much like the leaves it is derived from.
Lemon balm is a strong, aromatic herb used commonly to infused oils, teas, syrups, and sauces. It may be prepared fresh, or dried and crushed for rubs and dry seasoning. Pair the strong flavor of lemon balm with more mild tastes such as seafood, honey, citrus, summer squash, and cucumber. Keep cool and dry until ready to use.