Liguria is Italy’s most famous basil-growing region. The herb is lifeblood here. It floods the stands of Genoa’s Mercato Orientale, a dizzying, circular market hidden on the interior of a city block. It’s sold in pots in tiny town squares and arranged in vases on restaurant tables. Everyone agrees that the best basil in Liguria is grown in the village of Pra’. Proximity to the shore is said to give a bright, oceanic quality to the crops.
Already in 1876, ‘pesto’ was entered by Giovanni Casaccia in his Genoese Italian dictionary as a word autochthonous of Genoa. The word comes from ‘pestare’, to crush something with a pestle to reduce it to powder, a mash or to the thinnest of layers. From ‘pestare’ also comes the word ‘pestle’ (‘pestillium’ in Latin) that together with the mortar is the utensil used for making this sauce; a wooden pestle, that is, of hard, compact wood, such as boxwood or pear and a mortar of white marble, of Carrara, unpolished inside. The word ‘mortar’ is derived from the Latin ‘mortarium’, a recipient in which ingredients are minced or mashed, historically not only used in kitchens but also in traditional pharmacies.
The classic pesto is prepared firstly with a choice of the most tender of basil leaves, neither too big nor too small. The leaves must be broken up along with the garlic and other ingredients in the traditional marble ‘murta’ (mortar) with a wooden ‘pestellu’ (pestle). Ligurian extra virgin olive oil which does not overpower the flavour of the basil is added together with pine nuts and grated cheese preferably grana and pecorino.
Genovese Basil PDO (35%) , Extra virgin olive oil (30%), walnuts, cheese, Grana Padano PDO (milk, salt, rennet, lysozyme: natural egg protein), Pecorino Romano PDO cheese, garlic (2%), salt, pine nuts (1%), acidity regulator: citric acid.
Contains milk, walnuts, cheese, milk and egg. May contain traces of other nut shells.
Average Values per 100g: Energy 2681kJ/640kcal, Fats 64.5g of which saturates 9.5g,Carbohydrate 12g, of which sugars 2.5g ,Protein 3.7g, Salt 2.7g
Keep in a cool place, protect from heat sources. Once opened, cover with extra virgin olive oil and keep refrigerated.
Piaceri Italiani Malta, The Magro Food Village, Xewkija, Gozo XWK 3000