What Is "The Pesto That Does Not Exist"?

The Pesto That Does Not Exist

The intriguingly titled “The Pesto That Does Not Exist” (Il Pesto Che Non Esiste) is a pesto produced by Rossi 1947. It is the brainchild of World Pesto Championship president and Rossi owner, Roberto Panizza.

Made by hand in a pestle and mortar, the sauce is sold in 130g jars and produced in micro batches of no more than 2kg per week. Quite simply, the pesto “does not exist” because at the time of order it hasn’t even been produced yet.

It also "doesn’t exist" because although it consists of the same seven ingredients as classic Genovese pesto, the very nature of making it by hand means that every batch is slightly different.

The Pesto That Doesn't Exist Label

"Inconsistency" is something of a swear word in commercial food manufacture. Once companies perfect their pesto recipe, they take great pains to replicate it time after time. In the case of The Pesto That Does Not Exist though, slight inconsistencies are actively celebrated. Being made with love and intuition - rather than meticulously measuring everything to the nth degree and pumping it through numerous machines - ensures that each jar has a personality of its own.

Panizza explains: "The beauty of pesto is that with the same ingredients you can get very different results, based on how you mix them. The [recipe] does not exist. The beauty is that there isn't one, otherwise we would eat the same pesto, everywhere all the time. It would be awful."

The Pesto That Does Not Exist Ingredients
Genoese basil DOP
Parmigiano Reggiano DOP
Sardinian Pecorino DOP
Extra virgin olive oil
Pine nuts
Vessalico garlic
Trapani sea salt