When you say Liguria you say Basilico Genovese D.O.P
Basil is the main ingredient in the recipe of Genoese pesto, and it is the typical crop of Liguria.
It is the symbol of a coastal agriculture and of a genuine cuisine; it contains all the scent and history of this land.
The producers of Basilico Genovese D.O.P. are located along the hilly coastline of Liguria.
Basilico Genovese D.O.P, thanks to its certification, differs from other varieties grown in other areas or in different conditions.
You might have heard of basil leaves carrying “a mint flavour”. Well, that unmistakably was not Basilico Genovese D.O.P.
D.O.P., a certification of origin
D.O.P. stands for "Protected Designation of Origin": the European community certification for foods whose characteristics are determined by the territory where they are grown or produced.
Soil and climate conditions strongly affect the flavour of this aromatic herb: it is a scientifically proven fact that basil essential oils are different when it is grown within the Ligurian area, on the hills facing the Ligurian sea.
Thus, the certification of Basilico Genovese D.O.P. states how the Mediterranean environment of Liguria, combined with traditional techniques carried out over the years, have led to a unique variety.
The quality of the Basilico Genovese D.O.P. is guaranteed by a product specification and by a monitoring system performed by a unit authorized by the Mi.P.A.A.F.
Three key elements: territory, traditional cultivation and natural soil
The Basilico Genovese D.O.P. follows the standards laid down by the product specification, which establishes that it can only be grown on the Tyrrhenian side of Liguria. .
Growing takes place in natural soil; dirt and other soil substrates are not allowed.
Growing techniques are traditional: a precious heritage for culture and nutrition.
Basil cultivation follows two specific lines, one for the fresh market and one for industrial production:
Manual harvest and packaging of the whole plant in the typical bouquet, for the fresh market
Basilico Genovese D.O.P. for the fresh market is grown all year round in greenhouses, where it is harvested strictly by hand, ripping out the whole plants, one by one. The plants, are then packaged, complete with roots , wrapped in the typical "bouquets" (or sometimes in smaller bunches) that also contain a small amount of the original soil.
This is the traditional packaging technique, used to preserve the herb freshness and scent.
Collection of the apical part of the plants, for industrial production
Basilico Genovese D.O.P. for industrial processing is grown outdoors in the summer (or in greenhouses for small production even year-round) and harvested by hand or mechanically, collecting
only the top apical (youngest) part of the plant, which is more tender, less fibrous and more fragrant.
This way, a top quality starting product is guaranteed.
Descriptive label, 100% traceability
Basilico Genovese D.O.P. is always fully tagged.
The packaging or label on each bouquet or bunch must include the name of the farm which produced it.
Specifically the label must contain: :
product name: "BASILICO GENOVESE D.O.P"
community symbol of D.O.P.
logo of the Consorzio di Tutela Basilico Genovese D.O.P.
details of the farm and place of growing.
The D.O.P. certification guarantees traceability and control of the correct use of its denomination.
Why should you look for Basilico Genovese D.O.P.?
Basilico Genovese D.O.P. is the only one which can guarantee:
Tradition, as required by its specification
Excellent properties: fragrance, tenderness and optimal yield.
Reliable origin and traceability of the farm,
Controlled production , thanks to an official system that monitors standard compliance.
Basil has been introduced in different areas of the Mediterranean and also in Liguria by the Romans who attributed healing properties to this herb.
Basil became a traditional cultivation in Genoa in the nineteenth century, thanks to the introduction of greenhouses in agriculture in a territory of great agricultural vocation: the western area of the Genoese district.
The excellent characteristics of the product led to specialized cultivation for culinary use a which quickly spread along the coast of the region thanks to the favorable climatic conditions and the transmission of agricultural traditions. Gradually Genoese farmers moved to new areas to increase production.
Thus, starting from the surroundings of Genova, the production area spread to the eastern and the western coast of Liguria, as the whole territory of the region showed to be suitable for growing this typical product, which is appreciated worldwide.