Meeting Giancarlo has been a pleasant surprise for me. The first time we met was during a dinner with friends in Genoa. His passion, knowledge and interest with food, traditions and culture immediately captured me. Giancarlo is a great chef who has participated to the “World Pesto Championship” and is part of the “Slow food association”.
During that evening he involved everyone at table telling about traditions and ancient ligurian recipes. Between a recipe and another it came out that Pesto sauce has origins from an ancient recipe named “agliata” (a sort of garlic sauce) used by the genoese sailors in 1200 a.d. during the long sailing months. The “agliata”, used to flavor and disinfect the dried meat, was made of garlic and bread soaked in vinegar. With the passing of the centuries, Giancarlo told us that the vinegar was substituted with basil, cheese, olive oil, nuts and then, pine nuts.
Furthermore, he told us that one of the first cheese used to make the green sauce was a dutch cheese, while parmigiano and the pecorino cheese were only introduced later!
(For a recipe see Anna’s note here.)
Beautiful Liguria, a travel concierge service that offers everything from tour planning, hiking excursions, cooking lessons, personal shopping and much more in this great region. In 2009 she decided to begin sharing her personal knowledge of the beauty, the culture, and the history of Liguria in which she’s immersed every day.