When I want to prepare a great Basil Pesto sauce, I go to Paolo Calcagno’s Basil Farm in Celle Ligure. Paolo is a great passionate about basil and his farm on the hills looking the Italian Riviera coast is the paradise of basil. He has dedicated more than 25 years of his life to grow up a special basil and thanks to him, his family and his collaborators his basil has obtained the D.O.P. certification, which stands for “Denominazione di Origine Protetta” and it means “Protected Designation of Origin” P.D.O.. This label guarantees the consumer the high quality and provenance of basil.
Paolo has been the first of his family to cultivate basil. In fact, in 1929 his grandfather began to cultivate olive trees. Then, Paolo’s father decided to start another kind of cultivation, he thought to dedicate to the culture of wild strawberries. However soon he realized that the climate was not ideal for that kind of cultivation and he replaced it with the vegetables’ production.
In that period Paolo began to experiment the cultivation of Basil. His father gave him a piece of land and Paolo dedicated his time to this production. Thanks to high quality seeds, great climate influenced by the sea wind, his work and his passion, Paolo has been successful and now his farm is among the leading businesses in its field.
His P.D.O. basil bouquet is also used for the “Genoa Pesto World Championship” and whoever is lucky enough to taste his basil, appreciates it and chooses it for culinary preparations.