It is the symbol of an agricultural activity suspended between the sea and the mountains. It comes from simple and straightforward cuisine, where even an aroma can make a difference. From a secular history that continues to enjoy considerable popularity. Because of the Ligurian environment and the traditional cultivation techniques, Basilico Genovese is considered a unique product.
Introduced into several areas of the Mediterranean as well as into Liguria by the ancient Romans, who believed it to have therapeutic properties, basil has been a traditional crop in Genoa since the nineteenth century with the introduction of greenhouses into a territory of great agricultural vocation. The excellent characteristics of the product, the favorable microclimate, from the power of the sun to the excellent ventilation, and the high expertise of the farmers have led to the spread of the cultivation along the entire coast of the region. In this way, starting out from Genoa, the production area has expanded to the east and west.
Basilico Genovese is cultivated both in protected environments (i.e. in heated greenhouses or tunnels) as well as in the open field. It is now known worldwide as the most characteristic aromatic plant of Italian cuisine and has enjoyed recognition as a product of Protected Designation of Origin by the European Union since 2005. It is defended, promoted and enhanced in its identity by a Consortium of the same name.
Guaranteed by Production Regulations, which offer consumers the security of a certain provenance and controlled quality, Basilico Genovese is produced only on the Tyrrhenian side of the region by companies registered in the certification system and is sold in typical bunches of whole plants, wrapped in food paper branded by the Consortium.
This fruit and vegetable product differs from other species of basil because of its small-medium size and tender textured leaves that are oval and convex, light green in color and have a particularly delicate scent, without the hints of mint that are found in the varieties grown in other parts of the world.
It is the base ingredient for the recipe Pesto alla Genovese – an especially excellent sauce for pasta, starting from the typical Ligurian type, such as trenette and trofie, and for foccacia, sandwiches, toast and many other dishes, both traditional and innovative. Also the protagonist in the decoration of many dishes, Basilico Genovese is the key ingredient in many recipes for seafood and meat dishes, especially during the summer when it gives off a really unmistakable scent,making dishes fresher and more appetizing.