Variations of Basil

Basil is a member of the mint family and looks very similar. The most popular kind of basil used in cooking is sweet basil, but some of the other more widely-known types are clove basil, lemon basil, and cinnamon basil.

With so many varieties, it can be difficult to choose. Here are just a few types, with a brief description, to help in your quest for the perfect basil for your savory dish:

  • Sweet basil-the best known, it has a scent of clove when fresh.
  • Genovese basil-has a similar flavor as sweet basil and is almost as popular.
  • Napolitano basil-favored by many for pizzas.
  • Lemon basil-also called "hoary basil," has a lemony smell, like the name implies, but has a sweet taste.
  • Thai basil-has a scent of licorice with a hint of mint. Purple stems and flowers add beauty and taste to many Thai dishes.
  • Cinnamon basil-also called Mexican spice basil, has the same compound found in cinnamon which gives it its strong fragrance.
  • Holy basil-also known as 'sacred basil' since it's used in worship in India.
  • Purple basil-rich and spicy, it has more of an anise flavor than Genovese or sweet basil.

A good way to get acquainted with some of the multiple varieties of basil is to order the Mixed Custom Blend from . They have reasonable prices, free shipping, and no minimum order is required, so you can actually have fun experimenting with a test flat of different types of basil seeds.

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