The initials D.O.P. stand for “Denominazione di Origine Protetta”, an EU certification awarded to food and wine products whose characteristics are determined by their region of origin. The certification proudly displayed by Basilico Genovese D.O.P. is a recognition that Liguria’s Mediterranean environment and time-honoured methods handed down over generations have combined to create an incomparable product.
The quality and authenticity of Basilico Genovese D.O.P. are guaranteed by strict production methods and a monitoring system overseen by an organisation authorised by Italy’s Ministry of Food, Agriculture and Forestry.
THE THREE CRUCIAL FACTORS IN GAINING D.O.P. CERTIFICATION
Basilico Genovese D.O.P. follows the rules laid down to control production, specifying that cultivation can only be called DOP if carried out on the Ligurian hillsides facing the Tyrrhenian sea.
TRADITIONAL GROWING METHODS
Traditional methods that have been refined down the years by the people of the region are vital elements in obtaining D.O.P. certification, as well as forming a precious cultural and culinary heritage.
The soil is broken up mechanically and then disinfected through a natural method using steam. This kills harmful organisms in the soil and makes growers less reliant on chemical products.
Irrigation is a delicate, crucial process, and growers devote a great deal of care and attention to it. The skills and professional secrets behind this practice have been handed down over the centuries.
Controlling the parasites, mostly funghi, that affect basil is carried out using strictly integrated methods involving biological, physical (steam) and agricultural means. Chemicals are used only rarely, and take the form of products permitted by the supervisory codes. They are used under strict controls.
The tips of the plants are harvested, whole and bearing at most eight leaves, ensuring the product is tender, aromatic and bursting with flavour.
Cultivation takers place ONLY on natural soil, the source of the product’s characteristic aroma and flavour. Additional topsoil and other substrates are strictly forbidden. READ THE LABEL CAREFULLY! If the basil used is GENOVESE D.O.P., the hallmark LOGO will appear on the front of the label, a guarantee of the uncompromising quality offered by REAL BASIL FROM GENOA, which stands out from other basil products from areas less suited to its cultivation, or made using non-traditional methods.
At some time or another most of us will have tasted a basil without much flavour, or one that “tastes like mint”…in that case it wasn’t Basilico Genovese D.O.P.