Summer would not be summer without Greek Basil!

During the summer, you won't find a balcony, yard or garden in Greece without at least one pot of basil in it. Brush by it and instantly you will smell its pungent but sweet aroma. Funnily enough, it isn't actually used that much in Greek cuisine (possibly with the exception of homemade tomato sauce/salsa) even though it's name can be translated as the 'king of herbs'.

There is a religious association to the herb to an event known as the “Elevation of the Cross", (Empress Helene in 326 A.D. is said to have found the original cross that Jesus was crucified on. When she found it, basil was growing in the earth in the shape of a cross. She realized that the cross she found was Jesus’s because when a sick woman kissed it, she was made well.. ) but having said that, there is no rule that it shouldn't be used in Greek cuisine because of this. Its presence though is certainly commonplace, more in an aesthetic realm, and apparently it can be used in remedies to relieve problems with muscles, digestion and flatulence!!

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