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Hailstorms Cause Pesto Shortage in Italy


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By ARIEL DAVID, Associated Press Writer

Mon Aug 21, 5:24 PM ET

Full link:pesto???


ROME - Lovers of pesto, the tangy green pasta sauce, are bracing for increased prices or even shortages after unseasonable hailstorms in northern Italy destroyed much of the most prized variety of basil, the key ingredient in the Genoese specialty.

Hailstones the size of tennis balls smashed glass panes on scores of greenhouses and pummeled fragile basil plants this month, wiping out entire crops near the town of Pra, west of Genoa, the capital of the Liguria region in northwest Italy

"The heart of basil production has been hit," Andrea Sampietro, director of the Ligurian chapter of Confagricoltura, an Italian farmers' lobby, said Monday.

Local authorities estimate that some 35 producers suffered a total of nearly $6.5 million in damages. Farmers have asked the government to declare a state of natural calamity, so they can receive funds to repair the damage.

[the rest has been snipped but is available at the link above]

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