Immensely popular in American and Italian kitchens, basil is also celebrated in French cuisine where it is a key ingredient in the blend Herbs de Provence and Fines Herbs. Basil is also found in recipes from the Mediterranean (like pesto, which accentuates this spice), China, Taiwan, Thailand and Vietnam.
Basil is traditionally used in the seasoning of tomato-based sauces, dressings and juices. It blends exceptionally well with oregano for pizza sauce, and with other seasonings, most notably garlic, lemon and thyme.
Native to Southeast Asia and Northeast Africa, most of the basil that is used in this country comes from three sources: California, Egypt and France.