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Larry McGourty

California Cenral Coast Olive Growers

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2008 Season's Extra Virgin Olive Oil from the California Central Coast is in and pressed. Despite the dismal weather last year and a lower crop than expected, I am hearing from the growers that the oil is of excellent quality this year.

The growers are just begin to bottle right now. If you are looking for California Certified Extra Virgin Oil you can find a list of growers at http://theromantictable.com/ccoga_list.php

Most of the growers have websites and sell over the web. These are mostly small family farms and orchards operated by individuals with a passion for olives.

If live on the Central Coast and are involved in growing olives for oil or canning, or in the industry, the next meeting of the California Central Coast Olive Growers Association will be held at McClintocks Restaurant, 1234 Park Street, in Paso Robles. 4:00 P.M. on Sunday March 1st, 2009. Contact Nick Canigiula nick@tuscalioliveoil.com for more information. The Tuscali phone number is 805 237-9663

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Several years ago I bought small bottles (?2 oz? no more than 4 oz anyway) of varietal olive oil. Unfortunately, I didnt write down the olive varieties nor the source.

One of the oils had a distinct sun-dried-tomato component in the flavor. Any idea what variety of olive would produce that?

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Several years ago I bought small bottles (?2 oz? no more than 4 oz anyway) of varietal olive oil. Unfortunately, I didnt write down the olive varieties nor the source.

One of the oils had a distinct sun-dried-tomato component in the flavor. Any idea what variety of olive would produce that?

That would be an unusal flavor for a pure extra-virgin olive oil. it was probably flavored.

The way extra virgin olive oils are flavored is during the pressing. The flavoring like garlic, tomato is added then so just the oil component is extracted. Infusing can be dangerous

I asked at the last meeting and no one here makes that flavor.

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It wasn't a flavored oil. I checked very carefully. It was pressed from a single variety of olive, and I cant for the life of me remember which one.

The sundried tomato flavor was clear and distinct but not strong. It kind of hit the side of the tongue.

Oh well. Maybe again I'll find the little bottles and this time I'll write things down!

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The tomato flavor is not unlikely in olive oil. On an olive oil tasting wheel created by Richard Gawel, green olives can exhibit the taste and aroma of green tomato, green apple, unripe banana, ripe tomato, olive, green tea, herbal and mint. The University of California at Davis has described in a tasting of Mission cultivar harvested in 11-07 as having low flavor strength of tomato leaf. So the reality is that the taste is out there but, up to you to re-discover the oil that exhibited this charecteristic so prominently toevoke a strong memory. I'd suggest you work on what the cultivar was and go from there. I'd highly suggest you try our California oils in your search.

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