Puglia Trip – courtesy of the CIA of Taranto

Regione Puglia

Daniela Guida, of Agriplan, an Italian marketing and consulting company, invited us to go to Puglia at the end of June for a three day trip to visit farmers and taste local pugliesi products. I would have loved to go: I’ve never been in Puglia for a serious gourmet trip and we have very few products from Puglia in our inventory. We would finally find that one exceptional olive oil we have been looking for a long time. Unfortunately, the trip to Puglia did not have good timing; it interfered with the dates of our Fancy Food Show in New York. Somehow, we just couldn’t do both.

So we sent our friend, Greg Bolen, as Gustiamo’s representative. Greg is a young man who knows a lot about food and is the buyer at Cheese Plus, the great cheese shop in San Francisco. Who better than a customer to go on a shopping spree for Gustiamo?

Greg Borden Greg (left) went and learned how to do an oil tasting with the “strippo” (more on this technique later); heard about the history and significance of the olive culture in the mediterrenean regions; gave a speech about selling and marketing food products in America. When I spoke to Nicola Spagnuolo, the head of the Confederazione Italiana Agricoltori (CIA) in Taranto, who organized the event, and his press office manager, Gabriella, they told me that Greg did a great job at representing Gustiamo and everybody liked him and what he had to say. No, Greg didn’t come back with that extraordinary olive oil form Puglia. Again, he is like us: difficult to please. It is Nicola, now, who promised to send our way the number one oil from Puglia. Our quest continues…