All About Basil
Basil is known in the culinary world as one of the most versatile ingredients out there.
Learn more about the plant, what it tastes like, and some other uses that you might not have thought of before.
Description of Basil
Basil originated in Asia and Africa. Today it can easily be grown in gardens all around the world as long as the temperatures at night don’t drop below 60 degrees Fahrenheit. The plant does best with all-day sun exposure in warm climates.
Part of the mint family, basil is a green, leafy vegetable that grows above ground. It can reach anywhere between a foot and nearly five-foot-tall with ovate, green leaves.
Several different varieties of Basil exist including:
- Greek or Bush basil
- Thai basil
- Sweet basil
- Cinnamon basil
- Lettuce basil
- Lemon basil
- Holy basil
Most basil types are considered to be annual plants, but some are perennials, depending on where they’re located
What Does Basil Taste Like?
There are flavor differences in the various types of basil. As a standard, the vegetable is described as sweet, pungent, sharp, and similar to anise.
Basil in Foods Around the World
If you want to enjoy the full flavor of basil, you can try this basil pesto recipe that can be whipped up in around five minutes. To discover what the taste can do to more traditional dishes, check out this lemon basil chicken recipe.
Basil in News & Pop Culture
Basil is and has been a popular name for centuries. Besides hearing one of your friends being called by the same name, you can check out what is predicted for the ‘king of herbs’ in this recent news story.
Other Uses for Basil
The tender basil plant is commonly used in dishes as an herb for added flavor. You may also see it used for any of these reasons or as an ingredient in the following as well:
- Essential oils
- Insect repellent
- Folk medicine
- Religious ceremonies