Genovese Basil (Ocimum Basilicum Genovese) is a popular traditional Italian plant used in many Italian dishes and the main ingredient in authentic pesto. Another name for this variety is perfume basil because of its spicy and intense basil fragrance.
A mature plant grows to be about 18 to 20 inches tall with blooms of white flowers. It features bright green leaves that grow vigorously after being harvested.
When making authentic pesto, genovese basil is usually the first choice thanks to the strong flavor of the large sweet leaves with hints of cloves. It is claimed that the best genovese basil, used to make real sweet and creamy pesto, is grown in Northern Italy near the city of Genoa.
In Italy, genovese basil is considered a sign of love. It was said that women in Italy would place basil in a pot near their window when they were ready to receive male suitors.