I perfected my pesto recipe in Cambodia, with the support of friends who served as the tasters of the early versions. Pesto eventually became a part of the menu whenever I hosted dinners at home. Those who have tried it swore and convinced me that people will actually pay to have this pesto.
So one day in 2009, out of boredom, I decided to make some for selling. Basil is widely available in Cambodian markets, and much cheaper compared to the basil here. There are also a number of varieties. My recipe used a combination of three types of Basil. The first batch yielded 6 bottles, each weighing about 300 grams.
I priced each bottle USD 6.50 then I sent a text message to a bunch of friends about it. Within 2 hours I sold the entire batch. I was inspired to pursue it and soon I needed the assistance of a friend in shopping for ingredients and materials, making the pesto itself and delivering them. I did this for about 6 months until the requirements of my ‘real job’ prohibited me to pursue it further.
I just realized, I’ve never made pesto since returning to Manila.