|Corsican Basil, July 20|
I've spied the very first signs of life from the basil seeds that I sowed the other day and it occurred to me that I should do a Spotlight post about the basil variety that I enjoyed the most last year. Corsican Basil is a variety that I had never heard of before I chose it as a free packet of seeds when I placed an order for various garden supply items at Peaceful Valley. I really didn't have any particular expectations about the culinary quality of this basil, it looked pretty and I figured that if I didn't like the flavor that I could just let it bloom and feed the good bugs. It took me a while to get around to getting them into the garden, but once they were set in place they took off.
I planted a few plants around one end of the bed where the cucumbers, butternut squash, and eggplant were growing. The plants turned out to be vigorous and fairly tall, a bit rangy with long stems and leaves that are smaller than the no-name green basil varieties that are typically offered at stores and farmer's markets around here. And quite different from what has been my favorite basil for a few years now - Profumo di Genova.
The big surprise was that it turned out to be a lovely sweet tasting basil, not too spicy and not strongly licorice flavored - it has a nice balance of flavors. Of course this is purely subjective based on what my taste preferences are. I had expected it to be more assertive, like a Thai basil which it looks similar to. I found that when I went to the garden to harvest basil for various uses that I more often than not chose this one. I loved the flavor and I loved the color.
Even though this is a somewhat obscure variety the seeds are not difficult to find, a quick search through the Mother Earth News Seed Finder turned up 5 sources. So if you have room in your garden you might want to give this lovely tasty resilient basil a try.