Jul 9th 2024

Travelogue: Weaving Roots in Greece

Formaggio Kitchen’s buyers travel the world in search of artisans from all walks of life–whether it is the Provençal olive oil maker who lives directly above her mill or the small family farm in Forenza producing a variety of handmade cheeses. Recently, the Assistant General Manager of our Huron Ave location in Cambridge, MA, Alison Daige, took a trip to Greece to visit with some of our existing producers as well as make connections with new ones. Here are the five questions we asked them about their trip:

What was the most memorable part of your trip?

“I was hosted by Dimitris of Riza olive oil and a highlight of the trip was visiting his olive trees in Attica. I have my hands on the products we sell at the shop every day, whether it's through the receiving process when shipments first land at our warehouse or delivery hallway, stocking the shelves, or ringing up customers' purchases so to be able to travel to one of our producers and see the items we sell in their very earliest stage is special. Also foraging for wild asparagus around his trees!”

Did you find any products you'd like to bring in, if so, which ones are you the most excited about?

“A new flavor of Citrus Chios jam just arrived at the shop that I got to try when I was at the Food Expo. The flavor is peach and watermelon with bitter almond. It's perfect for summer. As for brand new products, I'm still waiting to see what will work out so stay tuned.”

What is one thing you learned during your time in Greece?

“Grape vines in Santorini are woven into the shape of a wreath as they grow to protect the grapes from the harsh winds. Also, because the soil of the island is volcanic, Santorini is immune to the vineyard destroying pest phylloxera.”

What is one thing that surprised you about Greece?

“I was surprised and charmed by the ancient ruins just spread throughout the entire city in random spots (not just sectioned off like the Acropolis); metro stations, a hotel lobby, basements of stores. Almost every time new construction starts ruins are discovered so they are really everywhere.”

What was the best thing you ate during your trip?

“The first souvlaki after traveling about 12 hours to Athens, fresh squeezed orange juice from Dimitris's orange tree every morning, tomatokeftedes (fried tomato fritters) and loukaniko at the end of the 6 mile hike from Fira to Oia, and of course saganaki.”

Stay tuned for more travelogues from our buyers–up next, our Head Cheese Buyer’s recent trip to Portugal!