Sweet basil, with its wonderful aroma and flavor, is one of the most popular and widely grown herbs in the world. Often associated with Italian cooking, people are surprised to find that basil originated in the far eastern countries of India, Pakistan and Thailand.
Basil is most commonly used fresh, and if using in cooked recipes, it should be added at the last minute because cooking quickly destroys the flavor of the basil.
There are more than twelve varieties of basil that are cultivated for culinary use. Sweet Basil and its close relative Genoa Basil are the most familiar varieties. Both produce fragrant, broad, deep green leaves in abundance. Their spiciness is the perfect compliment to ripe red tomatoes and soft cheeses such as fresh mozzarella and brie.
It is an attractive plant that works well in vegetable, herb and flower gardens. Basil also makes a wonderful kitchen windowsill plant and looks great in hanging baskets either alone or in combination with flowers. Place pots of basil around the deck or porch to enjoy the robust aromas.
Think about all of the recipes college students can use basil for!