Jan 302011

This news item appeared in an Italian newspaper earlier this month: there follows a partial translation. It must be remembered that the origins of pesto are much debated as is the nature of ‘genuine pesto’ that employed, for example, parsley rather than basil. Try telling that though to Coldiretti! SY

It’s ‘Pesto day’ and the region of Liguria is hoping for European certification for the sauce that has become symbol of the city and the surrounding territory. For the sauce, said the commissioner of Agriculture Giovanni Barbagallo, the region aims to achieve the CTM Stg-Traditional Speciality Guaranteed label. 17 January 2011 is certainly a different ‘Pesto day’, because this year pesto will be celebrated throughout the world as part of the International Day of Italian Cuisine. Indeed, thousands of chefs, restaurateurs and food lovers around the world have prepared pasta with Genovese pesto, according to the authentic recipe certified by the Consortium and the Region of Liguria. The 14 Costa Cruise ships sailing around the world will make pesto for passengers….The IV World Championship of pesto, instead, will be held at Palazzo Ducale in Genoa March 24, 2012, organized by the Ligurian `Palatifini’. By dedicating the International Day of Italian Cuisines, which is celebrated in over 50 countries, to pesto, we have ‘an extraordinary occasion to remember the true recipe for a sauce that, more than nine times out of ten, is offered without respect to the original ingredients, on tables and in supermarkets around the world’. This from Coldiretti who note that Genoese pesto is one of the most ‘faked’ relishes internationally. Coldiretti have in their museum of false Made in Italy labels everything from ‘Thai Pesto’ to ‘Classic Pesto’. On the other hand, much German pesto labeled with Italian names was reported by farmers to Coldiretti last summer during the campaign to protect the Brenner Made in Italy.

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