Basil is a spice produced from the same-named medicinal annual plant. Spice is referred to the family of mint herbs; it has a bright aroma and taste, which in some way resembles a taste combination of cloves and licorice. Basil leaves, which are used in cooking, often have a green color, but there is also an opal plant variety: in this case their color is purple.

Basil was known even at the time of the ancient Powers: Egypt, India, and Rome. But the homeland of this plant is South Asia. Today, basil is found in wild and cultivated forms in many regions of the world, where the climate is favorable for the plant: warm, sunny and fairly humid.

Culinary use of spice

Spice is sold in fresh or crashed dried form, and is particularly popular in the East and in Europe (for example, in India, Azerbaijan, and Italy). Most often, for culinary purposes basil leaves are used, but in some cases, the seeds can also be an ingredient for the dishes. Spice is added to:

  • dishes of vegetables and legumes;
  • cheeses and eggs;
  • meat and fish dishes;
  • salads and snacks;
  • marinades, porridges and so on.

Basil is very popular in the manufacture of flavorings, ketchups, gravies and sauces. For example, spice is the main ingredient of the famous Italian pesto sauce. No less important is its role in the manufacture of canned food, sausages, and oil. The aromatic properties of basil make it an important component for many desserts and drinks, including alcoholic ones. Also, this product goes well with other spices and is a part of such seasonings as a bouquet garni, khmeli-suneli, Italian herbs and others.

Interesting to know

Basil tolerates normally the conditions of urban apartments: people often purchase a whole bush together with pot and soil, and leave it to grow at home. The best place for “domestic” basil is a window sill, and the best capacity is a box. However, it is much easier to just buy dried spice, which is stored for a long time in hermetic glassware or porcelain.

The aromatic properties of the product became a reason for its versatile application. For example, in ancient Egypt the plant was used in the process of mummification. Today this spice is popular in the perfume industry, as a substitute for snuff or rinse.

Basil is very useful and serves the healing goals. Product contains carotene, camphor, tannins, rutin, vitamins PP, C, and B2. Spice increases appetite, has a tonic effect on the body. Basil is indicated for people with chronic diseases of bladder and stomach. Essential oil of the plant is known for its bactericidal properties.

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