Cinnamon basil (also known as Vietnamese basil or Saigon basil; Vietnamese: húng quế) is a cultivar of Lamiaceae (Ocimum Spp.) native to Southeast Asia. It has a fragrant, sweet basil aroma. It contains cinnamate, the same chemical that gives cinnamon its flavor, and has the strongest scent of cinnamon. The leaves are small to medium sized. The combination of basil and cinnamon, clove and anise flavors make cinnamon basil popular for use in hot drinks and with fruits. In Vietnamese cuisine, cinnamon basil is considered the finest and is used in soups, salads and stir fried dishes.
Stems are purple with small purple/white flowers. Leaves are green on top and purple spotted/streaked underneath, unlike regular Thai/Asian basil.
- Gernot Katzer. "Basil". Spice Pages. Retrieved 2012-12-02.
- "Basil". Pete's Herbs. Retrieved 2007-01-03.
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