Basilico Genovese DOP is one of the best products of Liguria's agriculture: in the past, it was grown only in the historic Prà neighborhood in Genova, while today its production is allowed along the whole regional coast both in open air and in greenhouses (artificial grounds or hydroponic systems are not allowed by the rules).
The name basilico (basil) comes from the Greek "basilikon", which means "royal, worth of kings": there are non certainties about its origins, sinces traces have been found in various parts of the world. Men brought basil in their migrations to use as a medical plant (infusions made with leaves and flowers are sedative, antispasmodic, diuretic and antimicrobial). Because of that, basil was introduced by the Romans in the Mediterranean area, and afterwards it started to be used in dishes.
Basilico Genovese DOP can be identified by its small, oval, convex, light green leaves: it has a very delicate smell, without the mint scent typical of others varieties of basil, making it perfect for the preparation of pesto, the famous pasta sauce known all over the world, pride of the city of Genova. Leaves of Basilico Genovese add an exceptional flavour ti egg, fish, or vegetable (mainly artichokes or tomato) dishes thanks to fresh and aromatic taste.
It is very important to add basil at the last minute crushing it with fingers not to waste it unique aroma.