Armanino Foods’ original basil pesto recipe came from Varese Ligure, near Genoa, Italy. The Armanino family emigrated into the United States in the late 1800s. The family chose to settle in Northern California because of its similarity to the farmlands of northern Italy.
Operating as Armanino Farms of California, the family grew and marketed fresh herbs and vegetables in the San Francisco area for many years. The company expanded to national stature in the 1950s when William J. Armanino, son of the founder and chairman of the board, president and CEO of Armanino Foods until he passed away in 2009, applied the then-new technology of freeze-drying to specialty herbs, making their fresh flavor available year-round.
The frozen pesto portion of the business was retained when Armanino Farms was sold in 1986. Armanino Foods of Distinction, Inc., was formed to carry on the family tradition of providing consumers with distinctive high-end products and the traditional tastes of Italy derived from authentic family recipes.