Wednesday, January 20, 2010

our best parilla yet

Argentines love a good parilla (pronounced "parija") and the Zetone family provided us with a wonderful experience.  Damian Zetone, who is both a lawyer and a third generation fruit grower, gave us a tour of his vast packing plant and orchards.  We spent the afternoon sitting around a beautiful table that they had prepared for us. The picture perfect setting was in the orchard alongside the Rio Negro with a meal of roasted meats salads and fruit.  They have 2000 acres of fruit trees, 70% pears, and they are probably the largest pear grower in South America.  We talked politics, economics, horticulture and enjoyed their hospitality.  At the end of the meal we drove a few miles to see one of their original blocks and took photos of 100+ year old anjou trees that are still in production. Senior Zetone proudly showed us a pear tree that was 100 years old and still producing fruit. They have just begun the Bartlett harvest and we watched them packing the first fruit for Brazil and Russia.   
    In the evening we met with Gustavo Crisanti and his management team at Tres Ases, another major integrated fruit company.  They too have the most modern technology and were full of questions for Gene Kupferman on how to improve the post harvest storage of fruit.  It was  long, full day and we were happpy to get back to the hotel after 9pm for a much needed rest.

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