Highly aromatic, they are slightly sweeter but more intense in flavor and are more stable when cooked than the Mediterranean basil. Leaves are narrower than the more rounded Mediterranean version. Wonderful container plant, as they only grow to about 24 in. tall. Thai basil's name is Bai Hora-pa, also called Asian basil.
In Italy, a pot of basil is a sign of love; in France it is called herbe royale – the royal herb. Linked irrevocably with Italy and the Mediterranean, basil originated in India and was brought over the spice routes in ancient times.
The peak flavor experience is fresh from the garden and used soon after, though it retains its unique flavors and aromas well when made into pesto and frozen. Drying is a last resort, as it loses most of the aromatic oils. But we have found that basil dried from your garden is so much more flavorful than commercial dried basil.
Basil does well with asparagus and helps tomatoes overcome pest insects and disease while improving growth and flavor of both. It is best to grow the shorter basil plants alongside or parallel to the tomato plants instead of among them in their shade.
Peppers – both sweet and hot – like basil alongside them, as does beans, beets, cabbage, and eggplant. Herbs that like basil nearby are oregano and chamomile.
Basil repels mosquitoes and most flies, so keep a couple of planted pots near doorways and entrances.
Common rue and sage are antagonistic to basil, so don’t plant them near each other.
When basil starts to flower, it will stop growing leaves – so pinch the flower heads off to encourage new leaf growth.
- All About Basil
- Heirloom Basil - So Much More Than Pesto
- Easy Homemade Basil Pesto
- Fresh Heirloom Basil Recipes
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FINALLY I can make proper Thai food!
Thai food is one of those foods that you just cant fake with substitute ingredients. You have to use lemongrass, lime leaves galangal and Thai BASIL or it just tastes off. Do you know how impossible it is to find Thai basil???? Alas, problem solved- grow my own. This is an excellent plant to grow. It is large leaved and can rival Genovese basil any day for flavorful leaves, prolific output, disease resistance,and heat tolerance. A MUST grow!
I enjoyed growing this basil. Used it in many soups and marinades. Has a great flavor. It now is growing inside and is producing new growth rapidly.