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The pesto recipe, as we know it, has no ancient origins, dating back to the mid-nineteenth century.

But this condiment saw the light, just because traditionally Liguria is the cradle of aromatic herbs.

The use of aromatic herbs for the Ligurians is a tradition that dates back to the Middle Ages, with different habits, based on social categories: the rich share their banquets with sought-after spices, while the poor used them to flavor soups not too much tasty.

This ancient tradition seems to have given rise to pesto, a cold condiment obtained from basil, in the Baxaicò and Baxeicò dialects (from the Latin basilicum).

This plant, of Arab origin, boasts a curious botanical name: Ocimum basilicum, literally royal grass.

But back to pesto: the original recipe dates back to the second half of the nineteenth century; the first to mention it seems to be a well-known gastronomy of the time, Giovanni Battista Ratto in his work, La Cuciniera genovese.

The recipe is as follows: “Take a clove of garlic, basil (baxaicö) or in the absence of this marjoram and parsley, grated and mixed together with some finest pine nuts and crushed everything in a mortar with a little butter until reduced in paste. Then dissolve it with fine oil in abundance “.

But we certainly cannot overlook a famous legend that tells of a convent on the heights of Prà (Genoa) named after San Basilio, in which a friar who lived in that dwelling picked up the aromatic herb that grew on those hills (called appunto basilium, in honor of St. Basil), he combined it with the few ingredients brought to him by the faithfuls and, pounding it all, obtained the first pesto which was gradually perfected.

Hoping to have satisfied your curiosity, we are sure instead of having put an unrestrainable desire for pesto … ITALIAishere has selected it for you … you just need to taste it …

So, good appetite!


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