We all know the frustration of having liquids of more than 100 ml (3.5 ounces) confiscated at security checkpoints at the airport—everything from toothpaste to cologne, from water to hand lotion. At the Cristoforo Colombo airport in Genoa, pesto is one of the most common things separated from owners, often tourists who want to take home an iconic taste of Liguria. About 500 jars are thrown away every couple of months.
Thanks to an initiative of the Genoa airport, pesto — a sauce made from basil, pine nuts, garlic, olive oil, and parmesan — can now travel in the cabin with you. The initiative arose from the synergy of many entities involved in the goal of promoting local gastronomic excellence and preventing waste. If you are departing from Genoa and want to take a 500 ml (about 16 ounces) jar of pesto in your hand luggage, here is what you need to know:
First of all, it must be genuine pesto Genovese, not some mass-produced stuff bought at a supermarket. It can be homemade or acquired in small shops and stores. Then it must bear a label, “Pesto is good,” which can be bought at participating stores or at the ticket counter at the airport. The cost of about 60 cents is donated to Flying Angels, a charity dedicated to flying ill children from developing countries to hospitals around the world, including Giannina Gaslini pediatric hospital in Genoa.
Until now the only liquids of more than 100 ml (about 3 ounces) that could be brought on board were breast milk and medicines. To that critical list we now add pesto. A very innovative idea, or, as one local newspaper said, “only in Genoa.”
The initiative was launched June 1, 2017, and within 3 weeks more than 500 passengers have taken advantage of it. By September of this year, the Liguria airport plans to launch a special area of shops in the departure area of the airport dedicated to entrepreneurs and small consortia of craftsmen.