The other day Mike and I were doing some shopping at a local Arabic market. Mike likes to go for the hot foods served there (and the meats – namely, the lamb), but I like to go and look around. I could literally stay for hours poring over everything if he’d let me. Not to mention that you can usually find spices for a fraction of the price at stores like this!
As I was looking around, this drink immediately caught my eye. I had never heard of basil seed before, but I liked the way the seeds were suspended mid-liquid. The pretty little basil seed bubbles floating around reminded me of bubble tea, which was one of my favorite indulgences in college (there was a cute little bubble tea shop near my university).
I got the drink home and couldn’t wait to taste it. The seeds felt like squishy little balls, actually very similar to tapioca balls in bubble tea or even grapes without their skin. The seeds tasted sweet and almost banana-y, and the liquid was thick and syrupy-sweet. I was surprised to find that the drink didn’t taste or smell like basil at all. Overall, it was a little too sweet for me, but I’m glad I tried it and I would drink it again if a sweet tooth called for it.
If you try this drink I highly recommend 2 things: (1) use a straw to drink it (the little basil bubbles are just better like that ;) ), and (2) add ice (it tastes much better very cold and also as the ice melts it helps to dilute the drink’s super-sweetness).
The funny thing is that this drink was sold in an Arabic market but it says it was made in Thailand and I’m pretty sure it’s an Asian (not Arabic) drink. Does anyone know anything else about it?