Pesto is “as a good friend” for us Ligurian people, we know it from our birth and since childhood we fall in love with it.
From one family to another it can also change its taste for that magic alchemy which rules the endless cuisine variations, but the essence not, it always remains the same, based on the basil that grows “sea view”, the delicate oil of the terraces facing the sun, the not very aggressive garlic, the well-measured sea salt, the sweet peanuts (we are Ligurian and we use them parsimoniously) and the aged cheeses that everyone chooses according to their sensibility.
The pesto was never missing in Ligurian homes and it has reached all the tables all over the world, but the ancient mortars have been replaced by the more comfortable and quicker mixers.
Then came the news of the WORLD CHAMPIONSHIP OF THE GENOESE PESTO AT THE MORTAR and slowly the mortars are back in vogue, cleaned up the pestles and reborn the desire to make pesto according to the ancient way.


But which type of garlic is used during the Championship?

The garlic, used for all the steps of the World Championship, comes from the slow food presidium of Vessalico garlic, with its intense aromas and its delicate taste, it is a very digestive garlic and it has a good shelf;  all these features are due to the mild climate of the Arroscia valley, that is located at the ground of the Alps, but at the same time it is still affected by the influence of the Ligurian coast climate and by the lands particularly suited to this cultivation.


And which basil?

The Ligurian Riviera di Ponente reality is always engaged into the cultivation of the typical genoese basil, the one with the small leaf. The farm that provides its basil from the first edition of the Championship is of Paolo Calcagno, family-run business located on the hights of Celle Ligure.

The oil of the World Championship?

From the first edition the extra vergin oil DOP used during the Championship is from the Frantoio of Portofino: a product that embodies all the characterics of the Ligurian Riviera di Levante, with its terrace olive groves caressed by the sea breeze.

Why the mortar?

To make a good pesto a good mortar is needed. Often in Ligurian families it is handed down from generation to generation, but the precautions for those who should buy it new (also on Internet) are to choose a mortar made of pure white marble of Carrara, the dimentions according to the own use – from 8 centimeters in diameter up to 30 cm – and at last a good pestle made of beech or olive tree.

A curiosity… The practice of the production of pesto at mortar is recognized for a few years, nothing less than intangible heritage of UNESCO! Ricognition due to the fact that we are talking about authentic popular culture with a tenacious identity reflex.


Here all the ingredients for the official receipe of the World Championship of Pesto at Mortar

  • 4 bunches equivalent to 60/70 gr of Genoese Basil DOP in leaves, guarantee of the typical aromas and taste
  • 30 gr of peanuts
  • 45-60 gr of grated aged Parmigiano Reggiano
  • 20-40 gr of grated Pecorino
  • 1-2 cloves of Vessalico garlic
  • 3 gr of sea salt
  • 60-80 gr of extra vergin oil Riviera Ligure DOP that exalts the Basil and dressing scent

The World Championship of Pesto at Mortar 2020 will be held on March 28th in Genova at the Palazzo Ducale. The championship is suggestive and addictive, because 100 mortars and pestles work together in the wonderful hall where the GENOVA Government met. The basil scent rises together with the aromas of the garlic and the cheeses. The participants pound, measure, add, correct and redefine until the Championship Election.
And remember that..

… The Ligurian are the pesto as the pesto is Ligurian