Although the history of pesto is not well documented, there have been letters dating back to the 16th century describing a sauce as “battuto d’aglio” or “battered garlic”. It is thought that it was the Genovese of the Italian Liguria who incorporated basil and gave the world the pesto we know today that combines olive oil, pine nuts, basil, garlic and parmesan cheese. Although other ingredients may be substituted, it is the preparation that helps maintain the food’s integrity of flavor. Pesto is traditionally prepared using a marble mortar and a wooden pestle (hence the name) that mashes the plant fibers into a paste – releasing important aromas and flavors into the pesto. Because of the differences in olive oils and regional climates pesto takes on its own unique flavor depending on its origin in Italy. Pesto may be prepared with other green ingredients besides basil, including broccoli, flat-leaf parsley and even mint. Red pesto, which contains either fresh or sun-dried tomatoes, is also becoming very popular.

Delco Foods takes its pesto seriously. That’s why we pride ourselves in carrying only the best available. Casa di Lisio was the first company to put frozen pesto sauce on the market for food service. According to Lou DiLisio, thirty-one years ago you couldn’t sell pesto sauce. In 2003 Casa di Lisio produced and sold over 360 tons of it. That is because Casa di Lisio is one of the very few companies using only fresh basil in their pesto sauce. If you look at the label, you will find only the finest ingredients with no fillers. They make all their sauces in small quantities and freeze them immediately to preserve the delicate, unique flavor and consistency. It is simply pesto with a homemade traditional flavor that is perfect for pasta, on chicken and fish and in a variety of other applications. The sauces can be frozen for up to 18 months and refrigerated for two to three weeks.

Pesto Usage – We know that a great many of you have a Pesto Pizza or two on your menu, as well as a number of pasta dishes served with a Pesto Cream Sauce or just a Pesto and Something Sauce.  However, just a dollop of pesto can be a nice garnish to a Spicy Pumpkin Soup or a White Bean and Vegetable Soup in the fall.

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