Chowhounds, you've always come through for me in the past. I often cook Vietnamese or Thai dishes and, begrudgingly, I always leave out the basil because it's difficult to find in my neck of the woods. I alway pick some up if I happen to be in SGV or Little Saigon, but it doesn't last long and I end up using a bit and then throwing the rest out. I now know where to kaffir lime leaves on the west side thanks to you guys. What about Thai or Vietnamese basil? The kind you get when you eat pho (with the purplish stems). The typical basil you find in most markets is just not the same.... :( and the dishes I cook just aren't the same as a result.