How Much Does Basil Cost?

Basil, which originated in India, is a herb that has a strong yet sweet smell that can be found in many Asian, Thai, and Cambodian dishes.   Common types of basil found on the market includes African Blue, Globe, Hoary and Lettuce Leaf.

basil by arifm, on Flickr
basil” (CC BY 2.0) by  arifm

How much is it?

TypeDescriptionPrice
African BlueA tall variety that can be found in floral arrangements. It has a scent similar to mint and peppers combined and will be found in meat and rice dishes.$6 per four-inch potted plant.
CardinalIdentified by its red leaves, this basil has a stronger spicy scent and will be used in vinegars and oil.$6 per four-inch potted plant.
CinnamonHas a milder flavor and can pair well with some fruits. It can often be found in noodle salads and with fried rice.$2 per ounce
GenoveseItalian basil with extra large leaves and is used for pestos and other Italian dishes. It will be much sweeter than the basic.$5.95 per plant or $5 per 400 seeds
GreekOne of the smallest basil varieties used in salads and meat dishes.$5.95 per plant or $5 per 400 seeds
Green RufflesHas curled leaves and a milder flavor$4 per 100 seeds or $5 per bunch
HolySpicy, sweet and highly fragrant, this basil is often used in meat curries.$7 to $9 per four ounces
LemonFilled with a lemon aroma and can be used with grilled vegetables, teas and poultry.$2 per average bundle
LettuceWorks great in salads and lettuce wraps, offering a milder flavor.$3.50 per bunch
LimeOffers a sweet, mild and citrus-y flavor.$3 per bunch
PurpleNot as sweet as most but will be highly aromatic. Can be steeped in vinegar or used as a garnish to add color.$3 per 3-ounce bag
SweetThe most common variety that's popular in salads. It will have a medium green color with a cup-shaped leaf.$5 per pound
Thai sweetDark pointed leaves with a spicy licorice-like flavor. It can keep its flavor at higher cooking temperatures when compared to other varieties.$15 per pound or $3 to $4 per bunch at local markets

Tips to know:

Best-selling basil online

Fresh basil vs dried basil

How to dry basil

The leaves will be the main component of the plant, offering the most flavor, and the fresh leaves will be used throughout the growing season; however, once the weather starts to cool down, the plant will, unfortunately, die.  Drying these leaves are a great way to take the leaves that may have died and turn them into a dry spice.  Dry basil will have a stronger flavor and is known to be four times stronger than being fresh.  Drying is easy by following these steps:

  1. The first step is to make sure you harvest the leaves first thing in the morning, just after the dew isn’t present anymore.  Before it gets too hot, cut the leaves from the plant and remove the stem, leaving about one-fourth of an inch above the growth node.  Be sure to harvest more than you think you need because these leaves will shrink to more than half in size.
  2. When drying, there are two methods you can consider:  You can either hang dry by cutting the stems about six inches long and bunching them together, placing a paper bag with holes punched in it around the bundles or you can use a food dehydrator.  If using the hanging method, hang the bunches in a dark climate controlled room, and as the basil dries, the paper bag will collect the dry leaves.  If using a food dehydrator, lay each leaf in a single layer on the racks and dry until completely crisp.
  3. With these dry leaves, store them in an airtight container in a dark cabinet to prevent the leaves from losing its flavor.  If exposed to too much light, the dried leaves may have next to no flavor when you want to use it.

What to do with fresh basil

How can I save money?


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