There is one interesting question in the minds of millions of people – Why do the fruits tastes sugary and whether these fruits have sugar in them? This is definitely an intelligent question which has to be answered. Researchers have confirmed that the fruits contain seven different types of volatiles which are responsible for the sweetness in the fruits. One of the volatiles found in tomato is isovaleric acid. The effect of the sweetness will be more when there are more than one volatile.
This topic will deal with a plant name Thai Basil. The botanical name of this plant is Ocimum basilicum var. thyrsiflora. Thai basil is very famous in Thailand and the Thailand people call this plant as horapha. The Vietnamese call this plant as hung que. This holy plant is native to Southeast asia and widely used in these areas. The flavor is described as anise and licorice-like and slightly spicy. It has small, narrow leaves and purple stems. Thai basil has pink-purple flowers. Sweet basil has numerous cultivars and one of the cultivars is Thai basil. One of the cultivars grown in USA is “Siam Queen”. Thai basil is also called as anise basil or licorice basil since it has a scent of anise and licorice. It is also called cinnamon basil.
The name ocimum is derived from the Greek word meaning “to smell” and comes under Lamiaceae family. Thai Basil which is popularly called as horapha is widely used throughout Southeast Asia and plays a prominent role in Vietnamese cuisine. Holy Basil is also famous in Thailand and in India. Lemon basil which is popularly called as maenglak tastes like lemon. It is also called as Thai lemon basil. Thai basil achieves a height of 45 cm and has shiny green narrow leaves. It has a purple stem which is square in shape. Its leaves are opposite and decussate. The inflorescent is purple and flowers are pink.
Uses of Thai Basil
Thai basil is a perennial plant found in the tropical regions. It can be grown from seed or cuttings and grows well in fertile, well-drained soil with full sunlight.
- Thai basil is used in cuisines of Southeast Asia including Thai, Vietnamese, Lao and Cambodian cuisines.
- This basil is used as an ingredient in Thai green and red curries. It is also used in chicken, pork, noodles, and other seafood items.
- Holy basil is an important ingredient in the Taiwanese chicken dish sanbeiji.
- It is served as an accompaniment in many Vietnamese dishes such as phở, bún bò Huế, or bánh xèo. It is also called as ‘Sweet thai’.
- Thail basil is used in ‘aromatherapy’ where the aroma leaves are inhaled for few hours. The leaves are also rubbed beneath the eyes and in the forehead for relaxing the strained eyes.