About Basil Leaves
Among the natural herbs that are readily familiar with most people who love to prepare delicacies and dishes are Basil Leaves. Ideally used in Italian dishes, its main purpose is to provide alluring aroma to these prepared dishes, containing a spicy aroma somewhat similar to anise and clove, to complement the preparation and serving of most meals of today. Taken from its Greek name “Ocimum basilicum”, this herb is commonly referred to as “king”. Its highly aromatic leaves often acts as putting additional spicy orders and provides additional coloring towards food and prepared sauces served.
Food Aroma and Coloring
Basil leaves are easily distinguished and known as the oxidants that provide additional fragrance and spice in meals and added coloring towards dishes that would usually have sauces, depending on the prepared meal cooked. Italians are the largely known experts when it comes to using such herbs, something that can be attributed to their creation and preparation of sauces to go with their pasta specialties such as Bacon and Cheese, Mozzarella and Linguine. Aroma which most people would be able to smell add the necessary satisfying taste to these dishes, a teaser for the meal they are about to digest in most occasions.
Varieties of Basil Leaves
Basil leaves are not plainly concentrated on being a food aroma enhancer. Some even digest this herb to help in other areas such as health and medicine herbal assistance. People who are very much reliant on this herb are aware that it comes in different varieties for cultivation. Seeds that are available usually come in the form of the below-mentioned varieties, such as: 1. Cinnamon Basil 2. Dark Opal 3. Genovese 4. Holy Basil 5. Lemon Basil 6. Magical Michael 7. Nufar 8. Purple Ruffles 9. Red Rubin 10. Siam Queen 11. Spicy Globe 12. Sweet Dani
Harvesting Basil Leaves
The seeds for growing basil leaves are available at most cultivation and planting specialists. The sensitivity for growing such plants is something that those considering growing their own basil should be aware of. Aside from the temperature level and the proper care from growing such herbs, the manner in which they are cared for would usually be the differentiating factor in determining as to how properly, edible and successful such plants would be grown. Proper spacing is also another aspect that most growers should be aware of, preferably putting a gap of 12 to 15 inches apart since basil usually grows somewhere between 8 to 25 inches in width. Probable protection from the usual insects should also be given attention.
Basil also relies heavily on the climate temperature to where it is raised. Temperatures of over 50 degrees are the ideal temperature for them to grow properly. Watering and fertilization is another aspect that needs extra attention as well. The proper amount of water should be observed at all times for proper harvesting and care while fertilizers help strengthen and provide the necessary nutrients that beautifully cared for plants will usually produce.
Retaining Freshness and Nutrients
Most Basil leaves are available in the market as well. However, proper care after purchase, assuming that people would not immediately use them for cooking or consumption but would rather storm them. Storing them in cool places, like the refrigerator in plastic bags or wrapped carefully to preserve the leaves is highly recommended to avoid losing the essential nutrients and freshness of the herb, preferable for a recommended period of only 5 to 7 days of storage. Some can even retain the freshness of the entire plant by making sure that the roots are maintained in water.
Usually, the herbs of the Basil are destroyed upon cooking. The aroma would usually be the sign of such, since it assumes the gaseous form by the time of cooking already. Italian and Thai dishes are the common dish preparation which makes good use of these herbs, something that has become a requirement based on their local recipes as far as food delicacies are concerned.
Basil Beliefs and Culture
There are various information that has been circling around with regards to basil leaves. Some would refer to them as a royal herb, something that makes people stronger especially in times of fasting. Some call it a symbol of love. It is believed that a woman is ready to accept a man once the herb is placed in front of the house. Ironically, this is considered a sign of hatred in Greece. In Africa, they considered the basil leaf as a sign of protection against scorpions while in Europe this is considered a representation of Satan.
Whichever the belief of most countries have, it is still widely known as a good partner for enhancing cooking specialties in any country. As stated earlier, providing the proper aroma to complement the finished delicacy allures the people who are able to scent the specialty especially in Italian and Thai dishes among others.
Edible Consumption of Basil for Health Conscious People
Being a herb, basil leaves are expected to provide some sort of aid and rehabilitative tool as far as known sicknesses are concerned, like cancer, heart and respiratory disorders, kidney ailments, mouth infections and insect bites among others. Herbs known to provide another face towards human curing is also present in basil leaves. However, the right texture and quality will depend on the safekeeping and proper harvesting of these herbs as well. People are even sometimes seen eating them fresh to help in addressing such medical and health related issues mentioned earlier.
For the lower alarming health issues such as anxiety and stress related ones, the basil leaves are considered to be the adaptogen or anti-stress related herb to put control over such minor health concerning issues. The coverage of the benefits that basil leaves has starts from common and daily health issues towards the more life threatening ones, widening its coverage of scope, not only for cooking requirements but for health related issues that most people experience today. The selection process should be carefully cited as well, since the quality of the basil leaves that people would be consuming and purchasing will be sure to have varied insights, especially when it comes to the overall quality of the leaves prior to utilization and consumption.