Flavorful Orbs of Delight: Paso Robles Olive Festival

Do you olive-up practically everything? Your Central Coast dream day is just ahead.

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THERE MAY COME A DAY... when the grocery aisle with the condiments and the pickles and the relishes adds "olives" to the sign hanging above, all to direct olive aficionados to their favorite jars of delicious foodstuffs. Wait. We're kind of in that day, and if a store, particularly one that stocks gourmet edibles, doesn't list "olives" prominently on the signage, we may sense something amiss. For the small, orb-shaped, glistening-with-oil fruits continue to rise and rise in the hearts and fancies of many eaters, and finding olive goodness in a whole host of staples, from breads to pastas to, yes, desserts, is as commonplace as seeing a fourth of a grocery aisle devoted to all sorts of olive varieties. Which is all to say this: The fact that there isn't an olive festival every month in the state of California, a place that is rather known for its excellent olive production, seems to be a fact that someone should promptly address. For now, though, there are a few excellent olive-focused gatherings, with one of the largest just ahead in...

PASO ROBLES: The main Olive Festival day, Saturday, May 5, is buttressed by a couple of other days with olive-y events, with a social mixer landing on May 4 and "Olive Ranch Events" happening on May 6. If you can only make the May 5 scene, prepare to savor olive oil sampling (it is free and there are a lavish line-up of oils to try), to purchase a host of great foods, to sip wine, and to devour olive oil ice cream (that's free, too, mmm). There's a cooking contest at the 15th annual festival, too, and, really, everything olive-y your olive-seeking spirit could desire. Well, that's quite the claim to make — we don't know how much you adore olives, truly — but this is a fest that understands how long you linger in the olive section of your grocery store. If you can never decide whether to purchase kalamata, or blue cheese-stuffed green olives, or both, consider folding an olive festival, such as the annual one in Paso Robles, into your weekend-away schedule one year. And 2018 might be just the right year for that. 

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