The Basso Brothers Story
Our love of pasta goes back for generations! Our great grandparents immigrated to Brazil from the Venice area of Italy and brought many of the Italian traditions with them, including the love of great pasta. They bought a fruit and vegetable farm in the Ribeirao Preto area of Brazil and began growing many of the fruits and vegetables they grew up with in Italy. They also discovered some new fruits and vegetables indigenous to South America that they came to love as well, one of which was Heart of Palm.
Our generation started making and eating pasta in our mother’s kitchen! Like our parents, we grew to love great pasta and the natural fruits and vegetables grown in Brazil. In our quest to find healthier and natural foods we started to think about new ways to use the heart of palm and decided to combine two of the things we love best: pasta and heart of palm. We came up with the idea of making heart of palm as a natural and healthy substitute for noodles. Heart of palm is a vegetable that comes from certain varieties of palm tree, and is well known for its high nutritional value, as well as being low in sugar and calories. We only harvest from non-GMO, sustainable trees that regrow a new heart annually.
We started by substituting heart of palm in many of our family recipes. Based on feedback, encouragement and requests from family and friends, we began canning the heart of palm noodles in greater quantities. Then, we started getting requests from local restaurants and “friends of friends and family” for our great product. We are now offering heart of palm pasta in many parts of Brazil. We also introduced heart of palm pasta to our great American friend, Dennis Byrne, who happens to love good Italian cooking too.
Enjoy and Ciao!
Marco and Marcio Basso
The Byrne Brothers Story
Early in my career, I lived and worked in Brazil—far away from the midwest farm I was raised on. My wife Bonnie and I were fortunate to meet warm and wonderful people that were raising a young family too. Now, even though the kids have grown and Bonnie and I returned to the USA, I continue to travel to Brazil frequently and stay in contact with those friends, Marco and Marcio Basso.
Marco and Marcio know that one of my favorite things to do is enjoy a meal with friends and family. This made me a great trial person for their newest project: Palm Pasta. After I finished the first helping of pasta, they told me it wasn’t pasta but “heart of palm”. After my second helping, I could tell it was heart of palm and not pasta, but actually liked the taste better. Not only was I intrigued with the idea but I realized that this was a great pasta alternative that is low-calorie, gluten free, and high in potassium, zinc and dietary fiber.
Enthusiastically, I wanted to bring this product to my friends and family in the USA. Bonnie reminded me that as someone who grew up on a farm, I generally love all foods. Unlike me, Bonnie is a bit of a picky eater and pretty mainstream in her food selection. Therefore we agreed that to move forward, she would have the deciding vote on pursuing bringing this product here. Luckily, she was traveling to Brazil the next month and went to the Basso farm and attended a taste test of “heart of palm pasta” spaghetti, lasagna, and stroganoff. Her reaction was 100% positive. One more taste test to go, I recruited my brother Mike and his wife, Elaine, who gave it their stamp of approval and loved it as much as I do. We discussed the possibility of introducing this great product into the North American market. Here we are! Two families connecting across two countries to bring you a great tasting, natural product!
Dennis and Mike Byrne