The wild basil is also called king herb. It was allowed to be harvested only by the rulers. During the harvest, a mystical ritual was celebrated. For the Romans basil was a symbol of fertility, the Egyptians used it to embalm their dead and for the Indians, the basil is still sacred.
Basil - its origin
The basil comes originally from the Middle East. It came over Asia to Egypt and spread across the Mediterranean. The plant belongs to the family of the Lamiaceae - (Lippenblütengewächse) and it is a one-year-old herb. Even today in Crete, basil grows in harmony with nature. The island offers a very good soil and ideal sunshine.
How does basil taste?
Basil tastes spicy - sweet and peppery with aniseed notes.
Where is basil used?
Basil is the most important spice of the Italian cuisine. It refines a simple tomato salad, tomato mozzarella, Margherita pizza and salads. Pesto alla Genovese is made of this fine herb. Herewith you can also spice up chicken. Mix together some soft butter, crush 1 clove of garlic, breadcrumbs, grated lemon zest, salt, pepper and 1 tb of basil. Mix well and stuff under the skin of a chicken, before cooking in the oven. Simply delicious.
Its aroma also harmonizes with a carpaccio of sardines.
In addition basil flavors, veal and lamb, as well as fish such as scallops and seafood. Generally, it goes well with the following dishes: tomatoes, salads, salad dressings, pesto for pasta, eggplant, peas, eggs, potatoes, cheese, cucumbers, Qark, olives and rice.
You can also make a basil tea by pouring 1 tsp of basil in a cup of boiling water. It calms nerves, makes you sweat and dissolves mucus.
Good to know
Add dried basil about 10 minutes before the end of the cooking time, its aroma increases when cooking.