Have you found yourself standing in the grocery store wondering, where is pesto in grocery store? If so, you likely have your heart set on whipping up some kind of pasta. While pesto is commonly used in pasta dishes, its true Italian taste and unique texture provide properties that allow it to be used in a variety of applications.
That being said, you are likely in a hurry and don’t want to spend too much time wandering around aimlessly. This is likely why you found yourself asking where this ingredient is in the first place. Unfortunately, the answer to this very question can be a bit tricky.
Discovering Where Is Pesto In Grocery Store
Where to find pesto in grocery store? Given that pesto is a popular pasta ingredient, your first thought might be to head straight to the pasta aisle. Well, you would be correct in that assumption. Since it is a marinara or tomato sauce, this is where you will find it. Pesto in the pasta aisle will likely be stored in glass jars. They’ll probably also be available in various sizes.
However, this is not fresh pesto. Sure, it will be good and can be heated or warmed to any temperature, but the pesto in these aisles will not be fresh. You’ve not had pesto until you’ve had fresh pesto. Not all grocery stores offer this ingredient fresh. In fact, you’ll likely need to visit a kind of specialty grocery store or a corner market to find the ingredient fresh.
Usually, when a grocery store offers pesto freshly every day, they store it upfront. It’ll probably be in the deli selection with the fresh salads and sandwiches that can be purchased daily. You’ll more than likely find it in a small plastic disposable container.
If you can find real, fresh pesto from a specialty shop, you are in for a real treat. It can be used as a simple dipping sauce, it can be smothered onto plain noodles, it can be doused on salads, or many people eat it alone with a spoon.
Whatever your preference is, once you taste real, fresh pesto sauce, you’ll never look at the canned jars the same again.
What Exactly Is Pesto?
All this talk about pesto, pasta, and Italian foods and it’s possible you don’t even know what pesto is or how it can be used. You might have just got the name from the Internet or found it listed in a recipe book.
The best place to start is with a fundamental understanding of the ingredient. Pesto is a sauce comprised of crushed basil leaves, pine nuts, garlic, Parmesan cheese, and olive oil.
As you can see, pesto is a unique sauce comprised of a variety of ingredients itself. It’s considered a classical and timeless Italian spread, although it can honestly be used for nearly endless applications. You could take an entirely plain pizza and use it as a base sauce.
The only limits are your tastebuds and your creativity. Given that pesto’s base ingredient is crushed basil leaves, it comes out with a thick, clumpy green texture.
The sauce itself can even be made with various ingredients, so you might get fresh pesto sauce one day and the next it’ll taste entirely different. It depends on who is making it and how they make it. The sauce originated in Genoa, the capital of Liguria, Italy.
The dish traditionally consists of crushed garlic, European pine nuts, coarse salt, basil leaves, and a hard cheese like Parmigiano-Reggiano (Parmesan Cheese). As you can imagine, it can be quite difficult to find these fresh ingredients in the United States.
Therefore, people substitute a lot of the ingredients with similar items. Fresh pesto offers something much more refreshing and unique than what you’ll find in most canned or jarred aisles. When it’s fresh you can really taste each ingredient as they blend to deliver a salty, earthy rich taste that is hard to substitute.
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Who Sells Pesto And How To Find It?
As popular as pesto has become over the years, it’s easy to track down just about anywhere. That being said, you’ll have to keep each encounter with an open mind because manufacturers substitute various ingredients.
Some manufacturers will even introduce their own ingredients to offer different tastes and textures. It depends on what you are looking for. If you don’t have access to a corner deli or authentic Italian store the best way to obtain fresh, authentic pesto would be from online vendors.
Amazon even peddles various variations of the popular sauce. Most of today’s whole food and popular big-box stores even carry a variety of pesto offerings.
Wal-Mart – Unfortunately, you likely won’t find fresh pesto sauce in the deli, but you certainly can find a variety of variations on the shelves. Wal-Mart is home to tons of ready-made pesto sauces for those with a hankering for something Italian.
You’ll find everything from Legnano Vegan Green Pesto Alla Genovese to Amore Pesto Paste or Prego Pasta. The first two are popular vegan variations. It is usually located on the very top shelf near the pasta and spaghetti aisles.
Whole Food Options – Every Whole Food store is going to be different, but they’ll more than likely offer some kind of pesto sauce. They are even more likely than most to offer it fresh in a deli section of the store. In the Whole Food stores, you’ll probably find brands like Gotham Greens and Rustichella D’abruzzo.
These will be found in the refrigerated sauce area probably need the yogurts and cheeses. They might even have a dedicated pasta or spaghetti aisle where you’ll find the popular sauce.
Kroger – If Wal-Mart is the world’s biggest retailer, Kroger isn’t far behind. Kroger grocery stores might not offer everything that traditional Wal-Marts do, but you certainly won’t have a problem finding quality pesto sauce. If there is a deli section, you might even be able to get your hands on some freshly made pesto sauce.
Kroger offers popular pesto brands like Victoria Vegan Alfredo Arugula Pesto and Filippo Berio Classic Pesto. The first place you’ll want to venture over to is the pasta aisle.
Since most grocery stores place pesto near similar ingredients, you’ll likely find everything you need to whip up a delectable Italian dinner in the same aisle.
Publix – Publix has easily grown as popular as Kroger or any other common big grocery store chain. You can guarantee they’ll have pesto sauce. They’ll offer popular brands like Legnanos as well as Amore Pesto Paste.
It honestly comes down to the mood you are in. And as you’ve likely guessed by now, you can find this delicious, Italian staple in the pasta aisle.
What To Serve With Pesto?
Pesto is simple but it can be used for more than just a traditional spread of dipping sauce. While it works fantastically in these two applications, you can pair it with a variety of other various applications to whip up something refreshing, unique, and new.
Chicken and fish are two modern favorites. And while fish does offer various tastes and textures with different species, it can all tend to blend after a while. The same can be said for chicken.
Sure, you can fry it, you can bake, or you can grill it. It doesn’t matter because if you eat it enough, it will become tired and played out. Do you want to make it different? Introduce a little pesto sauce. Chicken or fish along with pesto sauce and a healthy side serving of vegetables and you won’t be able to go wrong. Tomatoes and spinach will mix nicely.
Forget about arguing over deep-dish or hand-tossed. If you want to bring something new and exciting to pizza night, introduce pesto. Substitute your traditional tomato sauces with pesto or use it as a dipping for your crusts or breadsticks. Either way, you will not be disappointed!
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I am Alexi Brains, and I am the head writer, editor, and co-founder of FoodItems.org