You probably have olive oil in your pantry from Greece, Italy, Spain, France, or Chile. But did you know that the United States also produces olive oil, especially from California? The United States is considered the new kid on the block and giving the imported oils a run for their money!
There is a story our dad likes to tell others when he shows up at one of our Farmers’ Markets. Especially to people in his generation or to world-travelers.
“Have you ever been to Europe? Have you noticed how delicious the olive oil is there but when you come back home to the States you can’t find it anywhere? And it used to be that way with wine, but we know we make world-class wine in California. And now we know we make world-class olive oil in California too!”
To my surprise, the reaction is often a strong one, “Yes! I know exactly what you mean, but I can’t find any good olive oil here in the States!” I’ve even heard other people from his generation tell me the same story almost verbatim and with the same verve albeit with a tinge of regret and loss for their inability to find comparable olive oil here in their hometown.
Of course, Nuvo attends Farmers’ Markets to share the good news about real olive oil right here in our backyard. What is somewhat disheartening is the mindset that we constantly have to redoubt. It’s a mentality that says, “Europe is a producer of fine, artisanal crafts of which we have zero knowledge.”
Did you know that we have even more knowledge than Europeans when it comes to certain products, olive oil in particular?
There’s a bumper sticker that reads, “if you’re lucky enough to live by the beach, you’re lucky enough.” If you live in California, you’re lucky enough.
Olive trees have an incredible ability to adapt to a variety of climates. Although they are semi-deciduous, they can grow even without water.
However, the happiest olive trees need a subtropical climate and do best with mild winters and long, warm, and dry summers. They are sensitive to the hard freezing environment, and the temperature needs to drop below 54F to send a message to the tree that they should go dormant and begin gearing up for flowering season.
This is also why the majority of the International Award Winning Olive Oils from California come out of the Sacramento Valley – it’s the same climate as in the Mediterranean. Check out our gold winner Early Harvest 2017 EVOO.
So wait, if California shares the same climate as those incredible olive and wine producing nations in Europe can’t we make equally good olive oil?
Answer: Yes, we can and even better than ever before.
The United States fosters an incredible place to mash ideas together, so new concepts, methods, and technologies can arise. With our shared knowledge we are able to create something amazingly new and better.
If you live in California, please buy local. Buy California.
See you at the Farmers’ Market!