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Basilic (basil) is a popular, readily available herb associated with Mediterranean cuisine, the essential ingredient in pistou (the Niçoise version of pesto) and soupe au pistou.

French garden shops now sell numerous varieties of basil, including Thai and Ligurian. The ancient Greeks and Romans believed that one should always be angry when sowing basil, hence the French expression semer le basilic— to rant and rave.

Herbs and spices

Text © Dana Facaros

Image by Salvadonica Borgo del Chianti