Basil belongs to the family of labiates (Lamiaceae). It has a strong smell and flavor.
The leaves are large, oval, pointy and vary in color from green to red and even lilac. They have a warm, yet fresh, strong flavor. There are many varieties.
De Kruidenaer has the well-known green variant in its assortment, but also has Thai, red and lemon basil.
Basil leaves have a spicy smell and have a slightly sour, laurel-like, somewhat peppery flavor that combines well with garlic, tomato and other fruiting vegetables.
Basil can be eaten raw in salads, but can also be added to the stew briefly.
Lemon balm’s leaves (with their delicious lemon flavor) go well in sauces and with chicken.
Thai basil is a little more dominant; the flavor is somewhat reminiscent of anise and tarragon.
Red basil is a little stronger than regular basil and is an attractive addition to dishes. It creates an original, colorful accent.
It is best to store fresh basil in a cold, dark place (8 – 15°C), but never in the fridge. This will cause the leaves to blacken and lose their flavor.