Basil is also known as the Great Basil. It is a very famous form of herb. Basil belongs to the Lamiaceae family of plants which is also called mint in normal language. It is an annual or perennial herb. Its leaves are used as herbs. Basil is a native herb of Southeast Asia and Central Africa. Basil is used in the majority of cuisines throughout the world.
The Great Basil has many varieties. As per a count, it has around 60 different types. Besides, some other species that resemble it also come under the umbrella of Basil. So, they are also called Basil. One of its major types is Sweet Basil. This type is mainly used in food due to its great flavor. While some other types are Thai Basil, Holy Basil, and Lemon Basil. This herb is considered a major part of Italian cooking. Moreover, it is also used in large quantities in Indonesian, Vietnamese, and Thai dishes.
What does Basil Look Like?
Basil does not have different looks than other small herbal plants like mint. It is small leaves that normally has green color. However, its color may vary based on its type. For example, some types of Basil also have red and purple colors. And those color makes it a little different in looks than the other plants.
Where does Basil Come From?
Basil Comes from the bushy plant. The plant has various branches, and Basil grows on the stem of those branches. This plant has a thick taproot that gives good support to the branches. Despite having a bushy plant, the leaves of Basil do not get oversize and overgrown. Harvesting outer leaves play a vital role in this regard.
Moreover, the plant of Basil normally has a height of 2 or 2.5 feet. For growing it, you have two options. You can either transplant a seedling or use a normal Basil seed. The Basil plant is large. So, you can harvest it after 10 weeks. It has small flowers with white color.
How is Basil Made?
Basil has a sensitive plant. It cannot resist cold weather. So, to get Basil, you should grow it in hot and dry weather conditions. Moreover, the outdoor setting will be perfect for growing Basil. However, you can also grow it indoors in pots, etc., but make sure to place it near the window. Once the plant is grown, you can harvest it to get Basil leaves. The leaves normally grow between 12 to 51 inches, depending on their type.
Basil is used in two forms. First, you can use both dry and fresh Basil for cooking. For fresh basil, you can simply wash the harvested leaves. While for dry Basil, you can put the leaves under sunlight until it dries. Once it completely dries, you can use a grinder to transform it into powder form.
What Does Basil Taste Like?
Basil gives different varieties of taste based on its type. For instance, sweet basil is known for its mint-like and peppery taste. It has a fresh scent that adds more to its flavor. Another type of Basil is Thai Basil. It has a spicy licorice taste. While few other types give a flavor of spice and citrus. So, make sure you look for its types. Otherwise, you will end up adding something completely different to your food that may affect its taste.
How is Basil Used in Cooking?
When you decide to use Basil in your recipe, make sure you rinse it well under running water. Then, you should pat dry it. Moreover, people normally remove leaves from the stem. It’s because the leaves are majorly used while cooking. Besides, if the stem is thicker, you must remove it because it has a bitter taste. Afterward, it should be torn or chopped. You can also cut the Basil leaves into chiffonade.
What Types of Cuisines Use Basil?
Basil is used in various types of cuisines. In some cultures, like Italy, it is used as a pizza garnish and topping. Moreover, it is also used to make an herbal sauce for various dishes. It is used in pasta, drinks, salads, and other vegetable curries and dishes. Some people also use it with meat to add more flavor to it.
What is a Basil Substitute?
Basil is not something that does not have any substitute. If you are out of Basil, you can use some other items to substitute it. Some of its good substitutes are Oregano, Tarragon, and Mint.
Where to Buy Basil?
You can easily find fresh Basil in the nearest vegetable shop. However, for dry Basil, we are suggesting some good products. These are listed below.