Is Pesto a Liquid? Genoa Airport Authorities Think It’s Not!

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You can say many things about Pesto: you can love it or hate it, you can think it’s luscious, or simply overrated.

What you cannot say about pesto is that it is not a liquid, unless of course you are flying out of Genoa Airport.

I ran into this piece in The Guardian (access here) and I found it both amusing and disturbing at the same time.

Genoa seems to be so proud of their pesto that airport authorities at Genoa Cristoforo Colombo Airport (IATA: GOA, ICAO LIMJ) have granted special airport waivers to travellers with pesto jars on their carry-on luggage.

The initiative allows passengers to bring up to 500 g (17.6 oz.) of their local pesto sauce on your carry-on when flying out. The counterpart: the traveller must donate 0,50 € (or more) to a charity that airlifts sick children to hospitals.

From the article:

The airport said this week that €500 had been raised in the first 20 days of the initiative, which was inspired by the anguish of so many foodies having their pesto confiscated when trying to get through security.


Pesto is good. I like it. But it is a liquid. Not only that, it is oil-based, and oils are flammable liquids that can be ignited.  How can traveling with 500 g of pesto sauce be considered ‘safer’ than traveling with 200 ml of shampoo is beyond me. One extra sign that all the ‘security screenings’ we go through at airports and most of the carry-on bans imposed in recent years is all utterly b***sh**.

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  • Herman P. Duliatten

    Are you just stupid or what? Pesto contains oil and is therefore flammable??? I’d like to see you set fire to some pesto or some unsquished basil for that matter. Flammable liquids you can buy at ANY airport after security.

  • Jean Luc

    Cause you couldn’t buy flammable alcohol at the duty free 2mins after passing security…are u all effing stupid

  • Joseph Merrick

    LL is turning into a joke with all these “guest editors” writing useless articles. Please John, rewind and stick to the core of this project: Loyalty schemes.

  • McCaron

    all containers above 100 ml are prohibited within the EU, period

  • Jocke

    So if you consume a jar of pesto before security and then throw it up in a plastic bag before boarding, the vomit could be used as a weapon on the plane? 😉

    • cscasi

      Would you carry your vomit on board with you (you did say BEFORE boarding)? Really ignorant.

      • Jocke

        Laugh! I guess you totaly missed my point. Let me spell it for you. I t w a s a j o k e. Mixed with some sarcasm. 🙂

  • Jocke

    It’s amazing how ignorant people are when it comes to understanding why the liquid regulations are in place. It is NOT because they might be flammable. Highly flammable liquids are easily obtained at the airport before flight.

    The regulations are in place be cause these containers can hold liquid explosives or chemicals that when mixed could create an explosive. In august 2006, even small containers as pens were banned. In fact, you could not bring anything larger than a purse or a wallet onboard. This new system created chaos at the airports, the baggage handling systems could not cope with the increased number of items being checked in and the airports were held almost to a stand still. This created huge losses for the airlines, 1500 cancelled flights and over £50m in losses in a week for British airways. People were switching to trains instead. So the rules changed after just one week to the 100ml liquid/gas restrictions we have today.

  • Kevin Forde

    It might be a non-newtonian fluid. like tomato sauce or mayo. which would make it not a liquid or solid.

  • Dewei Jia

    Why worrying whether pesto is flammable or not? Come on, a big jar of 500 g is heavy. Or the broken glass would be sharp. If you hit some one in the head with it, it could be lethal.