This spicy basil is picked on the island of Crete, the island where the mountain slopes are colored in summer by a carpet of flowering herbs. This wild basil is distinguished by a high content of aniseed camphor (anethole), so that the taste, just like that of Thai basil, is powerful and sweet.

This wild basil comes from the Ocimum basilicum, one of the many herbaceous plants that grow naturally on the island of Crete. Not to be confused with the Clinopodium vulgare, the real wild basil, which also occurs in Crete, and is also used as an herb.

Basil is sometimes called the "royal herb", but the official name is sweet basil. Today we know the plant mainly from the kitchen basil, as a rule, a variety of the Basilico Genovese, the stereotype for the Italian basil.

Sweet basil originates from India, where 'tulsi', the collective name for various types of basil, is a sacred plant, which is often planted in front of the house in a specially constructed bed, the vindradas.

Of all the basil varieties, this wild-growing basil and Thai basil are the richest in anethole. This distinguishes this basil from the rather pale fresh basil in that respect. Our Cretense basil tastes slightly sweet, but with clear drop accents, making it delicious with stewed fish (think haddock) and roast lamb, but of course also in pasta and on pizza.

For the famous Pesto Genovese, Italians prefer 'lettuce leaf basil' with its somewhat crispy and slightly peppery leaves. Although the bite is missing, the wild basil is also very suitable for this dish.

Smell and taste

Only the leaves of basil are used as herbs. The characteristic scent is that of methyl-chavicol, which we also know from tarragon and chervil. The broad taste and aroma palette of basil makes it well combined with lemon, lime, mint, cloves, anise and star anise. Some of the fragrances and flavors (essential oils) in basil are:

  • methyl-chavicol (estragole), anise-like, as in tarragon and chervil,
  • anethole, aniseed,
  • methyl eugenol, spicy, woody and sweet, like cloves,
  • terpine-4-ol, sweet woody and peppery aroma, as in juniper,
  • linalol, responsible for the fresh floral scent, for the scents of rosewood and coriander,
  • methyl cinnamate, fruity, sweetish taste like strawberries, cinnamon scent,
  • 1,8-cineol, eucalyptol, the refreshing taste of myrtle (and eucalyptus oil),
  • (E) -caryophyllene, a taste between cloves and turpentine, and
  • limonene, the scent of lemon zest.

Usage

The taste of dried basil comes into its own when the leaves are added towards the end of the cooking time, and are given a maximum of ten minutes to take up water again, to develop flavor and to share with the dish.

Wild basil can be combined with oregano, thyme, rosemary and fennel seeds. Dosage: Instead of a tablespoon of chopped fresh basil, use a teaspoon of dried basil (and vice versa). Basil is used in a sea of classic dishes from the Mediterranean region, but also in Indian cuisine.

Features

  • 100% dried leaves (zipped)
  • origin: Greece (Crete)
  • harvest 2019

Availibility

  • Available in standing bags and glass
  • standing bagscontain 20, 45 or 150 grams
  • glass jar contains 20 grams
  • larger quantities on request

Gift packages

  • for an overview of our gift packaging we refer to the section gift boxes 

General advice

  • keep it in a dry and pretty cool place
  • the expiry date is meant as an indication

Best before

  • May  2022


Origin
Ethiopia
Botanical name
Aframomum Ocicum basilicum
Ingredients
No additions 100% dried fruit
Allergen information
Contains no allergenes

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Basil

  • €2.30


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Tags: wild herbs, crete