In the western area of Genoa, the historical area of the cultivation of the PDO Genovese Basil, the basil for fresh consumption is grown in greenhouses that arise in “patches of land” and small terraces, built and maintained by the heroic work of man.
In fact, over the last few centuries, a silent battle between man and nature has been fought on these rugged hills, to obtain modest strips of land to cultivate on the famous “fasce” (strips of land).
A reduced cultivation space, a task made even more difficult due to the morphology and composition of the soil in the area, which does not allow a high possibility of mechanization, nor easy accessibility, without considering the very low profitability of the soil and the fact that the terraces must be constantly subject to maintenance actions.
This on top of the laboriousness of a harvesting technique that is characteristic, accurate and artisanal: exclusively “hand-made”, requiring long times and skilled labour, aspects that translate into higher labour costs than other methods.
The particular harvesting techniques and the morphology of the soil give the Genoese PDO Basil a unique and inimitable appearance, aroma and taste. Unfortunately, these elements that make the product peculiar are also the aspects that give rise to a reduced and very expensive production.
In the current market, however, these characteristics are little known, so much so as not to guarantee a greater value to this niche production, which inevitably has higher production costs than other crops. This translates into the difficulty in obtaining a better return on the product, even within the same denomination.