Basil is a smell of summer! And who can think of basil without thinking of tomatoes - Brandywine Tomatoes preferably. I think it is this natural pairing that has led me to assume that basil is a native of Italy. Pesto, pizza, pasta... But basil is actually a native of India! And, just for the record, tomatoes are natives of South America! Who would have thought?!
I love basil, and I have found that I have someting in common with it - we both like it hot. And we are not at all keen on cold temperatures either - cold makes me slow, and turns basil black.
If you've wondered why basil goes black in their fridge, that's why. Instead of putting basil in the fridge, just put it in a glass of water out on the bench. Some of the basil above on my bench has been there for over a week. Still happy.
Also, if you leave basil in water long enough (about 2 weeks), it will be so happy it will even start putting out some roots. This is a great way to begin growing your own basil - once it has roots, just bung it into a pot of soil and off it grows. Basil likes to be fairly dry (another similarity to myself), so don't over water it (I think I am going to be overwatered this weekend?).
So buy that bunch of basil for pesto or Basil Butter Garlic Bread (below), then put what's left over in water (remember - not in the fridge!), and plant what you don't use.