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Posted by portugalpress on October 25, 2018

An Italian businesswoman and food connoisseur, who frequently visits Portugal to find traditional products that she can sell back in Italy, was in Castro Marim this month to find out more about the borough’s ‘white gold’ – its famous salt - which she intends to add to her selection of gourmet items.

Her name is Francesca Persano and she was born in Turin, where she has established her own brand, ‘Miss Dado’, of artisanal vegetable stock paste. Besides her stock, she also sells a range of gourmet products online.

“She is a well-known entrepreneur from a very renowned family in the art world,” says André de Quiroga, who has been organising gastronomic events for over 20 years and has been Francesca’s “consultant” whenever she visits Portugal.

As he explains, her goal is to have a selection of high-quality European products that complement each other instead of competing against each other.

“At a time when Portugal is establishing itself as a tourism destination and has a strengthened image, we can take advantage of this to sell our products. Maybe it is time to use our gastronomy as an economic boost,” he says.

“The products that we sell abroad are just as important as those we sell here. If a European tourist tries good cheese, wine or olive oil while they are here and then finds it for sale in their home country, they are going to buy it and recommend it to their friends, neighbours and family.”

Besides her interest in Castro Marim salt, Francesca has also been impressed by the “freshness of Portugal’s white wines” and the traditional methods used to make them. In fact, this is one of the reasons they became so popular in Italy.

Castro Marim deputy mayor Filomena Sintra insisted on meeting Francesca and said she felt “great joy” for seeing that all the “effort and investment that was made in the last 15 years” to promote local salt has paid off.

Meantime, Francesca will be holding a “boutique fair” in Turin next month to showcase a selection of Portuguese canned goods, wines, cheeses, olive oil and, of course, Castro Marim’s salt.

Visit to see Francesca’s online store.