Always in Season: Olive Oil

Always in Season: Olive Oil

Always in Season: Olive Oil
Find a bit of the Mediterranean in the sunny Central Valley

California is often labeled as having a “Mediterranean climate,” with short, wet winters separated by a sunny and dry spring, summer, and fall. So it’s no surprise that one of the Mediterranean’s most recognizable crops—olives—thrives in California too. And with the increased demand in quality olive oils—both from fine chefs, home cooks, and even gift givers—it’s easy to understand why olive orchards are tended all over the state.

One olive producer with roots that stretch back to the Mediterranean is P-R Farms Inc., located in the Central Valley near Fresno. In 1914, Vincenzo Ricchiuti left Italy and started farming here; later his son Pat bought the property. Crops include 400 acres of organically tended olive trees, the source of the family’s estate-grown, milled, and bottled Enzo Olive Oil. The oil’s distinctive grassy flavor and richness make it a popular choice for premier chefs, such as Jon Shook and Vinny Dotolo of Animal in Los Angeles, who use it in savory dishes as well as a traditional olive oil cake.

Enzo Olive Oil is ultra fresh, thanks to the company’s local mill. “We’re able to run every olive within 24 hours after it’s picked,” notes Pat’s son Patrick, who has also joined the company. And now, visitors can easily sample that freshness at Enzo’s Table, a retail store in the charming Central Valley town of Clovis, just northeast of Fresno. The store sells a range of Enzo organic olive oils, as well as organic balsamic vinegars. You can also shop for premium, locally grown fruits, nuts, and produce, and foodie gift items. (Products are also sold online.) If you time your visit for lunch, you’re in luck: Enzo’s parking lot has become a food truck hub—with many of the food truck chefs using Enzo Olive Oil in their dishes.

Organic Olive Oil with deep roots in the Central Valley
The Ricchiuti family knows a thing or two about growing a family business, and growing olives. You can say it's in their blood, as their family has been farming in California for almost 100 years. Enzo Olive Oil Company produces high quality, 100% organic olive oil from their estate in Fresno, CA.
Laura Flippen

Discover the Central Valley

62
April
Average (°F)
Mar - May
84°
High
46°
Low
June - Aug
98°
High
62°
Low
Sept - Nov
91°
High
43°
Low
Dec - Feb
62°
High
38°
Low

California’s heartland offers up one of the state’s most authentic and sensory-rich experiences, a chance to see—and taste—the state’s bounty at every turn. Follow oak-shaded country roads to farm stands overflowing with fresh produce, and meander along wine trails to some of the state’s most productive vineyards and low-key tasting rooms.

Peaches, plums, apricots, and tomatoes—just some of the ultra-fresh produce you will find at farm stands throughout the valley.

Throughout the broad valley, stretching for over 400 miles/644 kilometers down the middle of the state, are cities and towns rich with history, international culture, and “everyone’s welcome” charm. 

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Juicy heirloom tomatoes and just-picked strawberries. Super-sweet peaches shaped like mini UFOs. Artisanal cheeses, emerald-green olive oils, local wildflower honey—California’s farmers’ markets...

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