Albahaca is the Spanish word for basil, search which was borrowed from Arabic together with a large number of other words. I have discussed before when is the start of summer in the Southern hemisphere: if the first of December or the twenty something of December (solstice). Both of them are arbitrary dates.

I propose another — even more arbitrary — starting date: the first time of the year when one eats fresh albahaca. Last Sunday (25th November) I had a potato salad with chopped albahaca: sublime and mouth watering.

Interestingly enough, basil (scientific name Ocimum basilicum) derives from Latin basilicum and Greek basilikon meaning royal or king. Related words and names: basilica (the buildings), basilisk (the creature), basilic (the vein), pesto (basil is the main ingredient of one of the foremost contributions to civilization).

Statement: any garden worth its salt must have albahaca planted in a sunny corner.

This is an extended version of my post in Spanish.

Filed in gardening, language

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