Gourmet food

Ligurian pesto sauce made by mortar candidate to Intangible Cultural Heritage list

ligurian pesto sauce

Genoese pesto sauce, the typical pasta sauce from Ligurian region, is official a candidate to the prestigious list of “Intangible Cultural Heritage” by UNESCO.

Pesto is a traditional sauce made by a marble mortar and a wooden pestle, according to the historical recipe. The main ingredient, fresh basil, is another typical Ligurian product that give to pesto sauce its unique taste.

The recognition of pesto as cultural heritage can combat abuses of the identity and recognize the authenticity of pesto, to strengthen the use of mortar and to promote the historical and cultural values of the culinary specialties of the region.

There are currently 364 intangible assets recognized by UNESCO and six are in Italy


Intangible Cultural Heritage list is an important value for the Italian culinary tradition: it represents the “practices, knowledge, skills that communities or individuals recognize as part of their cultural heritage”. In the case of pesto this definition has a double value: the mortar is an ethno-anthropological instrument typical of Liguria region, otherwise pesto sauce is a natural food and part of the Mediterranean diet.

Pesto is the symbol of Ligurian industriousness, the difficulty of agriculture and the tenacity typical of Ligurian people. Compare in the tentative list of UNESCO is a great media exposure, especially in view of Ligurian promotion through Expo 2015.


To discover more about Pesto sauce visit the page dedicated to Italian pasta sauce!


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