Basil - Herbs And Spices Lexicon

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Basil - Herbs And Spices Lexicon
Basil - Herbs And Spices Lexicon
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basil

Basil gives many dishes and salads a touch of Mediterranean flair. The unmistakable aroma mostly belongs to the "Genoese" basil, one of several types. The Genovese basil is a typical ingredient in many Mediterranean dishes, especially in Italian and French cuisine. It is best eaten fresh. If you heat it, it can easily lead to undesirable changes in taste and aroma…

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  • Botany
  • Ingredients, smell and taste
  • Use and preparation

Botany

The genus Ocimum, to which the basil belongs, belongs to the mint family (Lamiacae) and includes several annual to perennial species. Of these, basil (Ocimum basilicum), also known as basil or royal herb, is the best known and particularly rich in variety. The plant is annual, the leaves are rounded to pointed, with a smooth or sawn edge and light to dark green or purple in color. The flowers are mostly white, but can also bloom pink or purple.

The most popular in this country is the Genovese basil with its particularly large leaves, other varieties are, for example, Dark opal (dark purple shoots), Minimum (small-stature), lemon basil (sweetish lemon scent) or Thai basil (sweetish aroma). The approximately forty varieties differ in appearance, size, color and shape of the leaves as well as the flowers, taste and smell.

Tip Basil can easily be grown yourself. The herb is sensitive to cold, likes it sunny and always slightly damp. Waterlogging should be avoided.

Ingredients, smell and taste

Since the content and composition of essential oil vary, basil tastes slightly different depending on the variety - from intense to mild in flavor, it can also be slightly spicy. Some varieties are reminiscent of cloves, aniseed or lemon in terms of their smell. Basil has a high content of the minerals potassium, magnesium and calcium, among other things it contains vitamin A and vitamins of the B group and provides the body with many valuable ingredients.

Basil

ingredients

per 100 g of edible

portion, raw

Basil

ingredients

per 100 g of edible

portion, raw

Energy (kcal) 46 Magnesium (mg) 74

Fat (g)

0.7 Iron (mg) 7.3
Protein (g) 2.4 Vitamin A (µg) 658
Carbohydrates (g) 7.5 Vitamin B1 (mg) 0.03
Dietary fiber (g) 3.1 Vitamin B2 (mg) 0.06
Potassium (mg) 600 Niacin (mg) 1.1
Calcium (mg) 369 Vitamin C (mg) 11

Use and preparation

The leaves of basil are best eaten fresh whole or roughly cut or plucked. The whole plant can be used in dried form, but it is no longer as aromatic. Fresh basil should not be heated or cooked as it can easily lead to undesirable changes in taste and aroma. In addition, the leaf color can change to an unsightly dark color. Basil should be added to cooked food or used for sprinkling and decorating.

The Genovese basil is a typical ingredient in many Mediterranean dishes, especially in Italian and French cuisine. Preparations such as mozzarella with tomatoes and basil and pesto Genovese, a spice and herb paste with rocket, pine nuts, garlic, cheese and olive oil, are popular. Numerous other varieties can be found in Asian cuisine, for example Thailand or Vietnam.

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