The Origin of Pesto
Pesto is an Italian condiment that has its roots in the Liguria region of Italy. Its name comes from the Italian word "pestare", which means "to crush" or "to grind". This refers to the old method of preparing pesto, where the ingredients were crushed by hand in a mortar with a pestle. This tradition dates back to Roman times, when a similar sauce called "moretum" was made by crushing garlic, salt, cheese, herbs, olive oil and vinegar.
The Different Types of Pesto
The traditional pesto
Known as Pesto alla Genovese, is made with basil, garlic, pine nuts, Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese, Pecorino Romano cheese, and olive oil. However, there are many variations of this basic recipe.
Pesto Rosso, or red pesto, is a savory variation that includes sun-dried tomatoes and sometimes red chilies for a kick of heat. This variant originated in Sicily, where sun-dried tomatoes are a common ingredient.
Garlic Flower Pesto
Garlic scape pesto is a delicious variation that uses garlic scapes instead of basil. Garlic scape gives pesto a mild, subtle flavor that is unique and delicious. The idea of using garlic blossom in pesto came from innovative chefs who sought to use all aspects of garlic, including its blossom, to create unique and flavorful dishes.
Carrot Fanne Pesto
Carrot top pesto is an emerging variation of pesto that uses carrot tops instead of basil. It's a great way to use all parts of the carrot and reduce food waste. Carrot Top Pesto has a slightly earthy, sweet flavor that is unique and delicious.
Pine Nuts in Pesto
Pine nuts are a key ingredient in traditional pesto. They add a crunchy texture and mild flavor that complements the basil and garlic perfectly. Pine nuts are actually the seeds of certain types of pine trees, and although they are often grouped together with walnuts due to their similar nutritional profile, they are not technically nuts.
What do you eat pesto with?
Pesto is incredibly versatile and can be used in so many ways in the kitchen. It is traditionally served with pasta, but it can also be used as a topping for pizzas, as a condiment for sandwiches, as a marinade for meats, or even as a dipping sauce for vegetables. Garlic scape pesto, for example, is delicious on a slice of toast or mixed with rice for a simple but tasty dish.
Pesto: From Italy to Quebec
Pesto has made a long journey from its origins in Italy to Quebec. It has been adopted by Quebecers who appreciate its rich flavor and versatility. In Quebec, pesto is often used to enhance pasta dishes, salads, sandwiches and even soups. Additionally, Quebec is known for its garlic production, making it a great place to create delicious variations of pesto, like Garlic Flower Pesto.
The Popularity of Pesto by Country
Pesto is popular around the world, but its popularity varies by country. In Italy, of course, pesto is a staple. In France, pesto is also very popular, often used as a condiment for pasta or as a topping for pizzas. In the United States, pesto has grown in popularity in recent years, with many restaurants and grocery stores offering their own versions of the condiment.
According to a 2021 report, the global pesto market was estimated at around US$200 million and is expected to reach US$300 million by 2026, growing at a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 5.2% during the forecast period.
Garlic Blossom Pesto: A Unique Delight
The garlic flower pesto is a unique variant of the traditional pesto. Garlic scapes give pesto a mild, subtle flavor that is both unique and delicious. This pesto is perfect for anyone looking to try something new and different. In fact, garlic scape pesto has grown in popularity in recent years, with many chefs and foodies enjoying it for its unique flavor and versatility.