Hello Piemonte! I arrived in Milan early yesterday morning and spent the day “recuperating” by the hotel pool while we waited for the other buyers to arrive. Our wonderful host, Giacchino, was kind enough to keep me entertained by beating me horribly (and enjoying it!!) on the ping pong table.
We had a lovely dinner at a local restaurant where we got to know the other buyers and sample the cuisine of the region. What I learned on Day 1 is that if you don’t have expresso and grappa after each meal, you’re doing something wrong ... and you know how much I hate being wrong!
There are eight people total on the trip, six buyers, Attavola’s owner Gioacchino and his assistant Giuseppe. We represent stores from New Jersey, California, Michigan and of course Connecticut. It has been really interesting talking to everyone about their businesses because we all have different types of stores and represent different clientele.
Today we drove to the second hotel, located in the heart of Alba. We had our very first producer tasting with a company called Ali Degli Angeli. The company specializes in crackers, cookies and breadsticks made from heirloom Italian grains.
Over the course of a three-hour tasting lunch, we got to know the owner and sample his wonderful products. Gabriel and his team of three hand-make all of the products including my personal favorite, the rosemary breadsticks (coming soon to a store near you, if you live in Darien that is).
We have the rest of the afternoon off to explore the city of Alba and then dinner on our own tonight. Starting tomorrow, our days will be much busier with more producers, more time in the van and tasting dinners every night.
Oh, and of course more expresso and grappa!
The "Palmer's on the Road" blog is published by Megan Palmer Rivera, executive chef at .