Basil is indigenous to Europe and India. The herb is cultivated in Iran, Africa, Seychelles, South-East Asia, Greece, Italy, France, Hungary, Morocco, southern Europe and the USA. Many types of basil exist: they vary in size, colour and flavour intensity, based on their origins as well as the climatic and soil conditions.
Basil is a pungent and highly aromatic herb with a resinous aroma similar to cloves and liquorice.
Dried basil is quite different from fresh, as it loses most of its pungency during the drying process.
The herb is commonly used in Italian, French and Thai cooking, especially in tomato-based dishes.
Basil complements chicken, lamb, fish, soft cheese or egg dishes and blends well with oregano, thyme and garlic.