His name is Aboubacar Camara, he is 22 years old, he comes from Guinea, he has lived in Murcia for a year and dreams of being a cook. He will be one of the hundred finalists of Genoa Pesto World Championship that will return to Genoa in March 2022, after a four-year hiatus imposed by the pandemic.

Murcia, the Spanish city with which the Superba will formalize the twinning next year, was the first stage of the competition abroad since Covid stopped the pestles around the globe: the last time it was in Columbus in Ohio in January 2020, just before the lockdown.

“It is an important moment that marks the restart for us and for everyone, a beautiful signal – comments Roberto Panizza, creator of the event now in its ninth edition and president of the Palatifini association which sold the brand to the Genoa Chamber of Commerce – . It is a game that serves to carry out a cultural communication operation, we teach how to make pesto with our products and in this way we promote Liguria.

In the past we had done two competitions in Madrid in two different competitions, in Murcia it is the first time and we are very happy ”. In the square of the splendid cathedral of Murcia, ten competitors competed in all, most of them professional chefs but absolute beginners in the preparation of Ligurian sauce, which is the second most famous condiment in the world.

The jury was made up of Panizza himself and some members of the Genoese delegation who arrived yesterday for a series of technical meetings and to consolidate relations between the two cities. And in the end the most balanced pesto was his, that of the very young Aboubacar: “Cooking has been my passion since I was little – he says in French with emotion still in his eyes, after having tightened his heart the certificate that proclaims winner of the preliminary competition -. In my country I have never had the opportunity to do a professional training and in the future I would like to cook for work. I’ve never been to Italy, it will be the first time “.

But it’s not just pesto that unites Genoa and Murcia. The two cities began the twinning process in 2019 as part of the European Sister project, a program aimed at bilateral collaboration for mutual promotion and enhancement through joint events that can stimulate tourist and cultural flows. Two years ago a Spanish delegation was welcomed into the city for a series of technical meetings and these days the same is happening in reverse. Then it will be Genoa in 2022 to host a special edition of the Entierro de la Sardina, the “funeral of the sardine”, a typical Murcian event that traditionally celebrates the end of the Carnival. In addition, a stand representing the Murcia region will be present at the next edition of Euroflora at the Nervi parks.

“The relations between Genoa and Murcia are historical and find their origins in the consolidated presence of Genoese citizens – explains the mayor of Murcia José Antonio Serrano Martínez who witnessed the pesto mortar competition in person -. The decision to sign the twinning seals a centuries-old friendship that has been renewed by recent collaboration relationships. We want to continue working together ”.