Neapolitan Basil: A Flavor That Stands Up Well to High Heat


[Photographs: Pizzablogger]

The man known 'round this parts as Pizzablogger ( emailed yesterday, saying:

Any of you eaten or grown Neapolitan basil?

I've grown Sweet, Genovese, Greek, and Thai before, but never Neapolitan. I got some seeds this year and started the seeds seven weeks ago. Today was the first day I really needed to do some serious pinching to encourage a bushier, more compact habit. Got five going in plastic 5-gallon paint buckets.


Only about 5 hours of direct sun in my "backyard," but they are doing quite well (I think the Madonna—plastic trailer-park light-up version at that—helps the growth). The leaves are quite large and the flavor is very different....with a pronounced licorice flavor and some pepperiness. The strong flavors stand up well to the heat of an oven during pizza making.

Hmmm. Unless some wily pizza-maker has slipped Neapolitan basil on a pizza I've eaten without making a big deal about it, I don't think I've had Neapolitan basil. I, too, have grown Thai basil and whatever passes for the "standard" basil you get at the hardware store in the seed-packet display but never specifically Neapolitan basil. Thanks for sharing, Pizzablogger!