DESCRIBE IT, IF YOU CAN: When something is simple and straightforward, we're compelled to describe it in a simple and straightforward manner, if possible. But sometimes just using one word, or two, doesn't quite cut the mustard. Or the olive, in this particular case. How would you describe the shiny small palm-sized orbs to someone who'd never popped one in their own mouth? You might start with "juicy," which would be correct, or "pitty," which is right, or "oily," which we can go with, or "chewy," which is absolutely on the money, as are "meaty" and "zingy" and "aromatic." For something so eensy, the olive can be difficult to pin down in a word. Put it down to its long history as a savory dish staple, perhaps; it has had a few years to flourish in our imaginations, growing ever more complex in our minds and lexicons. So a straightforward tour, one that reveals how olives grow and how they're harvested, can do much to de-mystify this complicated little icon, a fruit many need to have on a nearly daily basis (hello salads, hello tapenades, hello pastas or olives eaten straight from the jar). The Lucero Olive Oil Mill celebrates its iconic orb with a Spring Blossom Event, which is filled with tours, tastings, and other flavor-rich happenings for the olive aficionado.
OH, WE FORGOT "RICH," TOO: Because aren't olives such the rich food? They deliver a lot of punch for as notably wee as they are. You can sample one of fifteen olive oils made by Lucero -- and twelve balsamic vinegars, too -- or hop on a tour of an olive grove. Yep, this is the same Lucero with the tasting room in Downtown Napa, so if you're dreaming of lemon olive oil or rosemary olive oil or olive oil taken neat, you'll try it. That this is all going down in Corning, a town north of Sacramento and south of Redding, puts you at the source of olive goodness (Corning, as you likely have heard, dear foodies, is something of an olive nexus). As for the date for all of the chewy/meaty/zingy doings? Which also include chefly demos, kid to-dos, beer sipping, artisanal vendor items, and more food-focused goodness? Saturday, May 2. As for tickets? Find them here, oliveans.