Breaking news from Pesto Genovese land! Roberto Panizza King of Pesto perfected the method to preserve all the freshness of Liguria’s best ingredients. We spoke with the Pesto King himself to get all the deets of this miracolous creation: shelf-stable Pesto.
Gustiamo: We’ve imported your fresh Pesto for decades, flying it over in small batches and having pop-up sales in the colder months. How is this different?
Roberto: Our shelf-stable Pesto is an ode to the original recipe. We prolonged the life of the traditional fresh ingredients (no powdered basil here!): Italian pine nuts, Ligurian EVOO, basil from Genova, Parmigiano Reggiano, Trapani sea salt, and garlic from Vessalico. A longer shelf life but no sketchy acronyms or shortcuts.
G: No chemicals, no thermal treatment. How did you make this magic happen?
R: The tricky part is keeping the basil’s vibrant flavor and bright green color. We did that with the oldest preservative in the history of gastronomy: sea salt. Yes, this shelf-stable Pesto tastes salty. Think of this as a condiment, not a stand-alone sauce to eat by the spoonful. However you decide to serve it, ease off on the salt and instead use all the salinity of the Pesto. I’d say: don’t even salt the pasta water!
G: Is it as life changing as freshly-made Pesto?
R: That’s impossible. The right question is: is it the best possible Pesto on Earth with a 12 month shelf life? Yes. We’re positive there’s nothing like it.
G: One last thing you wished everyone knew about eating Pesto?
R: Please, PLEASE! Do not heat Pesto. Do not pour it in the hot pan like you would with other sauces. Pesto Genovese is a cold condiment.