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Yesid Bouziki:

"Mint from greenhouses doesn’t compare to Moroccan mint"

When Moroccan-born Yesid drank his first mint tea in a Dutch coffee bar many years ago, he thought only one thing: that he could do better than that. In 2009 he imported the first shipment of mint from Morocco, and now he supplies about 200 kilos to the Dutch hospitality industry every week.

Yesid began by delving into the storage of mint and by contacting Moroccan producers and traders. "In Moroccan shops you can always buy fresh mint and other herbs, but for the Dutch market it was a fairly new concept. Storage in particular is an important point, because mint has to remain fresh long after transport. Mint is sometimes kept in water, but that doesn’t really work. What you need to do, is to store it at a temperature of 4-5 degrees, in a closed bag or container.”

Yesid began distributing samples among Dutch businesses and soon his mint was so popular that he managed to build a steady clientèle. Today he has about 120 customers in the Randstad area, and his company Spicata, the Latin name for mint, is a household name in the Dutch hospitality industry. "The washing, packing and delivery of the mint, I do myself.” he says. He explains that the flavour depends highly on the soil and the amount of sunshine. All mint from Spicata is grown in the open air. The production sites are around Casablanca and in an area 120 kilometers south of this city. The herb is increasingly grown in greenhouses in Spain, “but this is not comparable with the one from Morocco”.

"Mint thrives best on sandy soils with lots of sunshine. Wind makes the branches thicken, exactly where most of the flavour is," he says. "Moroccan mint is more expensive than mint from Israel, but the taste and quality is also better. We notice that more and more businesses appreciate this. To buy a pounds worth from us will cost € 7.24, and this allows you to make up to 30 glasses of mint tea."

More information:
Spicata Portoport
Yesid Bouziki

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