Canadians love basil for its tantalizing, pungent scent and flavor. To the ancient Greeks and Romans, the herb was a symbol of malice and lunacy. They believed that to successfully grow basil, one had to yell and curse angrily while sowing the seeds. In French, semer le basille, “sowing basil,” means ranting.
In other cultures the herb is associated with love rituals. In Eastern Europe it was assumed that a man would love the woman from whose hand he accepted a sprig of basil. In Italy, when a woman place a pot of basil on her balcony, it meant that she would be receptive to her lover.
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