With its aromatic leaves and versatile applications in cuisines worldwide, basil is a popular herb, featured in everything from Thai curries and stir-fries to Italian bruschetta and pesto.

In this blog, we’ll discuss the history, origins, and common uses for basil. We will also share details about each of our many PSC basil products and how to use them to their full potential.



Basil has a rich history that dates back thousands of years. Throughout history it has been used as a food, a medicine, and a symbol that means different things to different cultures.

Basil comes from the Greek word meaning “to be fragrant”, but was avoided by many Greek herbalists and physicians for years due to superstitious beliefs. Unlike the Greeks, early Romans loved Basil, adding it to meals for flavor and fragrance, and appreciating it for its believed medicinal properties. Italians used basil as a “love charm”, believing that it symbolized love and fertility, and it was common for Italian suitors to wear a sprig of basil to symbolize their intention for marriage. In Indian culture, Tulsi, or “Holy Basil” holds deep cultural and spiritual significance for its believed purification properties. It is revered as a sacred herb and is often planted near homes and temples.



Basil is a highly aromatic herb with a pleasant sweet, spicy, citrusy, and slightly peppery flavor. This favored herb lends itself well to a variety of dishes. It is used in the culinary arts to enhance the flavor of sauces, salads, soups, baked goods, and meats, and is also a popular choice for a garnish.

Basil can be enjoyed both fresh and dry. When dried, basil retains its essential flavor compounds which enhance its sweet and peppery flavor notes.



A lush, leafy herb with a sweet and spicy aroma, Basil (Ocimum basilicum) is an annual herb that belongs to the mint family. This plant grows up to 24 inches high, and is identified by its leafy foliage with leaves that grow in opposite pairs along its square stem.

The leaves of a basil plant are typically a rich green color, although some varieties have a slight reddish or purplish tint. They are thin, smooth, and oval-shaped, with a slightly serrated edge, and release a strong and pleasant fragrance when crushed. As the plant matures, it may produce white or purple flowers.

Basil is usually harvested late in summer and early in the morning when its leaves are most aromatic.


Origin/Quality Sourcing

Basil is an ancient herb whose origins date back thousands of years. It is native to India and Persia where it was spread through the Middle East and Europe and was eventually brought to America by colonists and traders.

Although basil originated in tropical regions in Southeast Asia, this herb adapts well to different climates, and is now globally cultivated.

Basil is integral to Southeast Asian and Mediterranean cuisine, and has become a culinary staple around the world. In the past twenty-five years, U.S. basil imports have skyrocketed.


Herb Storage

Dried basil should always be tightly sealed and stored in a cool, dry, dark place; above ground and away from the wall. When stored properly, dried herbs can stay fresh and potent for up to one year.


PSC Basil Products + Uses

We sell our basil products in various dried forms to best suit your needs in the kitchen. Here is a quick overview of each option and their ideal uses.

PSC Extra-Fancy Imported Basil Leaves

These are high-quality basil leaves sourced from the finest crops abroad, characterized by their vibrant green color and intense flavor.
This product is perfect for garnishing and adding a fresh, aromatic touch to dishes. We suggest using PSC Extra-Fancy Imported Basil Leaves in flavorful, Italian cuisine like pesto and caprese salads.

PSC Ground Basil Leaves

This product consists of high quality leaves that have been dried and ground into a fine powder.

PSC Ground Basil Leaves are ideal for conveniently blending basil into sauces, soups, and spice mixes. Use this option when you want smooth texture and evenly distributed flavor.

PSC Medium Cut Domestic Basil Leaves

These are domestically grown basil leaves that have been cut into medium-sized pieces, offering a good balance of both texture and flavor.
Medium cut leaves provide versatility, and are an excellent option for cooked dishes where a more pronounced basil flavor is desired. We recommend using PSC Medium Cut Domestic Basil Leaves in tomato sauces or stews.

PSC Coarse Cut Domestic Basil Leaves

This option boasts larger, more coarsely cut pieces of domestically grown basil. This product is ideal when a gradual release of flavor is preferred.

For best results, we recommend PSC Coarse Cut Domestic Basil Leaves for oil and vinegar infusions, and slow cooked recipes. Longer cooking times enable coarse cut leaves to release their complete flavor and aroma profile.

Basil is more than just an herb, it has a remarkable history with enduring significance and endless possibilities. From oil and vinegar infusions, to salads, pizzas, pastas, stir-fries, curries, and even beverages, this beautiful, leafy green herb offers so much.

If you are interested in ordering from Pacific Spice Company, contact us today.