The Italian city of Genoa is proud of its pesto, and visitors aren’t shy about packing their luggage with jars of the basil and pine nut sauce. Genoa's Cristoforo Colombo Airport still limits liquids in carry-on luggage, but since June 2017, the authorities are allowing travelers to stow up to 500 grams (17.6 oz) of the green stuff in their bags. However, the pesto-toting passengers must also make a small donation (about 55 cents USD) to a charity that helps sick children, and the bags must go through a special “pesto scanner.” And, of course, the pesto must be Genovese.
Protection for the pesto:
- Pesto alla genovese is a protected term, meaning that in Italy and Europe, only sauces made in a precise way, with specific ingredients, can be called pesto alla genovese.
- The ingredients must include Protected Denomination of Origin basil from Genoa, because the soil and climate give a unique and unmistakable flavor to the region's basil.
- In Italy, “pesto” can refer to almost any mix of herbs that are pounded together and served over pasta. In Sicily, for example, pesto rosso uses tomato and almonds.