Basil is a culinary herb of the family Lamiaceae (mints). It is also called the “king of herbs”. Basil is possibly native to India and its fresh leaves taste somewhat like anise, with a strong, pungent, often sweet smell. The dried herb loses most of its flavour and tastes very different compared to fresh basil as a large part of the essential oils evaporate during the drying process.
The dried leaves and stems are used as spice for flavouring and for extraction of essential oil. Apart from flavouring numerous foods, it is used for seasoning in tomato paste products.
Basil is mainly cultivated in Egypt, Southern France and other Mediterranean countries.
Basil is available in crushed and powder.