The first time I had pesto, I was at the house of the father of a friend of mine. His father was a gentleman that enjoyed living in a city. He cooked to have pleasure. He traveled to Spain when he was young. He introduced many people to the good life. He had a garden and he had a mortar and pestle made of marble from Italy. There were young men and women having a party at his house. His father clipped a large bundle of fresh basil from his garden. I pounded the basil in the mortar. A fertile young blonde woman who appreciated Europe was in the room. Fresh basil from his garden was more exciting than basil from a market. The smell was intoxicating. I will probably never have the opportunity to have these experiences in the future. Pesto appeals to me.
A person at Tastemade named Frankie gave people the British treatment for making pesto. He used a food processor and popular ingredients. People at Facebook with Italian names violently complained. Their point may have been that making pesto with the British method is not authentic. People should defend European traditions from the South for associating food and cookware (cooking tools) with tradition, family, friends, and culture.
When Jacques Pépin makes pesto he blanches the basil with a plastic storage bag and a microwave. Blanching probably releases the aromatic parts in the basil. The aromatic parts of the basil probably create the flavor of basil. Heating the basil weakens the cell walls of the leaves and stems. The cells contain the aromatic parts of the basil. By blanching the basil, he forces the chemicals that make the flavor of the basil to mix with the ingredients. If this explanation is true, someone would not have to chew the pesto to taste the flavor of the basil. Blanching the basil must give pesto as much flavor as possible. He also uses a food processor. People with modern lives may be able to enjoy cooking with Jacques. He uses technology without hesitation.
Download The Recipe:
1. “Simple Savers (226): Jacques Pépin: More Fast Food My Way.” YouTube video, 26:56. Posted by “KQED,” February 16, 2009. https://youtu.be/Ysm-LEEb_K4.