Basil, king among aromatic herbs
Il Basil - botanically known as Ocimum basilicum - is the king of aromatic herbs. Any variety, including that of Genoese basil, is easy to grow at home. Naturally, it is sown in late spring or summer, however it is easily found almost all year round in seedlings placed in convenient pots, in garden centers or at the supermarket.
There are many varieties of Basil, but the best known and most appreciated cultivar is the Genoese Basil which has received Community protection by obtaining the DOP (Protected Designation of Origin) certification. A certification that is attributed to foods whose qualitative characteristics are essentially due to the peculiarities of a specific territory.
The culinary use of Basil is very vast, the dark green leaves, very fragrant, are used to add flavor to sauces or to create real sauces, including the famous Genovese pesto. Like other aromatic herbs, Basil is also used to flavor extra virgin olive oil, vinegar and to flavor soups and pizzas.