MISSION ACCOMPLISHED: Find the Fake ! by guest blogger Bill Marsano

Posted on: May 20th, 2013 by ItalianMade

The Italian Trade Commission and UNAPROL, an association of Italian olive growers,  enlisted American food journalists in Find the Fake

Their lighthearted presentation had a serious aim; which was to demonstrate that sensitive noses and experienced taste buds could be trained to distinguish between genuine Italian Extra-Virgin Olive Oil and something that is, well, rather less exalted.

The amateur sleuths gathered at the offices of the Specialty Food Association in New York City on April 29, where they learned the basics from a formidable trio of experts. Michele Bungaro, the president of spokesman for UNAPROL and Fulvio Genovese, a UNAPROL special agent, together represent the world’s largest olive grove—the 220 million olive trees of Italy.

Joining them was Fred Plotkin, the award-winning expert and lecturer on all things Italian, and author of nine books on Italian culture, including Italy for the Gourmet Traveler.


Michele Bungaro noted that  these American journalists were recruited because of their experience in culinary forensics, also known as ‘”kitchen detection.” At the same time, it was observed that although blessed with some superb detectives, it so happened that Andrea Camilleri’s Inspector Salvo Montalbano and Donna Leon’s Commissario Guido Brunetti were already at work on less-savory investigations in Venice and Sicily.

Participating producers were Olio Guglielmo and Paladino, both of Puglia, Redoro of the Veneto and Trevi Il Frantoio from Umbria.

Following a lively discussion and fervent investigation, the mission was accomplished and most importantly the inherent qualities in authentic italian olive oil were discussed.


UNAPROL, the National Union of Olive Producers, is an organization that brings several millennia of Italian olive culture, some 550,000 olive groves and more than 300 individual olive cultivars under the shelter of a single umbrella organization whose aim is to protect the quality and authenticity of Italian Olive Oil, and the livelihoods of its producers.



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