contact us

Use the form on the right to contact us.

966 West Campus Lane
Goleta, CA 93117
USA

916 217 0935

Bringing you the flavors of Puglia through imported foods and olive oil, & exclusive getaways.

Puglia is a magical place. As the "heel" of Italy's boot,  a peninsula within a peninsula, it is a place where travelers must choose to go. Off the beaten path, trains traversing Italy North to South end their journey here, even the last cobblestones of the ancient Roman Via Appia are laid here.

Thick olive groves, rocky soils, and sea waters on three sides have created a land of unique culture, language, and history. Puglia harbors Italy's best olive oil, ancient vineyards, and some of the best culinary traditions Italy has to offer.  Italians are well acquainted with this "secret", but outside travelers rarely journey to this southern corner of Italy.

We are two sisters with family roots in Puglia. Our mother was born here and so was her mother and her mother. Our family's roots in Puglia are as deep as those of the centuries old olive trees. We have come to appreciate the many gifts Puglia has to offer - from food and wine to its ancient customs. Our mission is to share these with you, to bring you into the fold of Pugliese hospitality so that you too may experience the treasures of this ancient land.

 

 

 

Recipe Blog

Vino

Beans

When we were girls, our nonna would give us the task of buying wine. This may seem shocking to an American so conditioned to heed the adult part in "adult beverage," but in Puglia, like much of Italy, wine is considered a staple at mealtime. People drink it in moderation and rigorously with a meal. It was unthinkable that our nonna's home would be without it. And so the chore fell on us to go buy a damigiana of it, or a glass jug ranging anywhere between 10 and 25 liters in capacity. The vendor, an elderly man with  long face and glasses known as il Signor Bovino, owned a shop in the same piazza in which our grandmother lived. The store shelves displayed a mish-mash of goods, and among the lightbulbs, stepstools, and fishing supplies, il Signor Bovino kept a fresh inventory of eggs, flour, and wine behind the counter.

Depending on the size, the damigiana would last us at least  few weeks. It was encased in hard plastic mesh with a small handle on each side. We would each grab one of these handles and scurry back to our grandmother's, teetering under the weight of the thing.  I still remember helping my nonna refill a few old wine bottles. They were made of thick, green glass and we would set them neatly in the sink. My job was to hold a plastic funnel securely at the opening of each bottle, while my nonna hoisted up the damigiana and poured the vino (always red) into each one. Those bottles would be placed at the table, while the damigiana was returned to the pantry until our supply was once again low.

The damigiana was never labeled. I still have no idea what varietals were in there or what vinyard it came from. Chances are that just like il Signor Bovino's store, it was a mish-mash of local stuff. But I do remember it was a decent red table wine. Our great-aunt Pasquina swore by it. She was unable to eat a meal without a couple glasses of wine. And by glass I mean a small water glass, not a fancy long stemmed wine glass. In fact, I don't ever recall stemmed wine glasses at any meal...ever.I don't think my nonna even owned any. It would mean literally elevating the wine to ornamental status when it wasn't so. Our vino was robust and earthy, like the soils it came from. It completed our meals of simple vegetables, cheeses, and legumes. It was always there - essential and appreciated, yet hardly worth a mention.

Today Puglia is experiencing a Renaissance in wine production. Its flagship varieties, Salice Salentino and Primitivo, are both spicy reds with a high alcohol content. Vineyards are improving their production and marketing their labels in local enoteche. It is more common for a family to buy wine in typical 750mL bottles than in the cumbersome damigiana. Regardless of the container, wine remains a fixture at the table, and I smile each time a see a kid shlepping some home just in time for lunch.