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California Autumn
Vol. 3 No. 6

Liquid gold

Sources such as The Food Chronology, place the beginning of olive cultivation on Crete thousands of years B.C. From Crete, olives and olive oil spread throughout the Mediterranean area and became highly valued commodities.

Its health and culinary virtues have given olive oil symbolic significance going back to the writings of Homer and continuing to today. The California Olive Oil Council promotes fresh, quality extra virgin olive oil through their Seal Certification program.

But we really love it because it tastes so good! The flavor, bouquet, and color of different oils differ greatly, giving the food lover endless possibilities for experiment.

Nan McEvoy turned a ranch in the hills west of Petaluma into an olive-growing Shangri-la (above). McEvoy Ranch Olive Oil is certified organic, estate extra-virgin. After picking, the olives go immediately to the ranch�s frantoio (olive mill) to be crushed by the massive granite wheels of the Rapanelli mill, resulting in a green-golden oil with a peppery finish. An open house, including a guided ranch walk-about, will be held Sunday, December 7, 11 - 3. The event is free and open to everyone; reserve on their website.

Situated on a hillside, the Manzanillo olive trees at Skipstone Ranch range in age from 15 up to 40 years. To promote a sustainable ecosystem, they take cuttings from the most prolific trees to raise their own young Manzanillos. As with their limited-production estate wines, Skipstone uses sustainable farming practices to ensure purity of flavor in Melina's Harvest Extra Virgin Olive Oil and to support the vitality of their trees.

The olives for Stella Cadente Olive Oil are grown in the magical Anderson Valley in Mendocino County. In addition to L'Autunno Extra Virgin Olive Oil and Olio Nuovo, Stella Cadente makes Rosemary, Basil, Blood Orange, Persian Lime, and Meyer Lemon Olive Oils. (The Basil Olive Oil was a finalist in the food world�s Oscar-equivalent, the Sofi Awards.) In addition to the beautiful Stella Cadente bottles, customers can fill their own containers at Olive Oil Bars listed on their website.

The Napa Valley�s Sparrow Lane is known for its vinegars (and for the fact that they are used in all of Thomas Keller�s Restaurants). The company�s products also include an extra virgin olive oil, a basil olive oil and a garlic olive oil. Check out the Sparrow Lane website for recipes, such as the salad, above.

No surprise that among the pear condiments produced by A Perfect Pear from Napa Valley is an Organic Extra Virgin Pear Olive Oil (above), which pairs perfectly with their Pear Balsamic Vinegar.

What's new

Traditional recipes, updated and made more convenient for today, play a big part in the products that are new to

Lula's Chocolates (above)
Sabl�s Gourmet Cookie Dough (below)

Harvest Festival, Pomona

Savor California returns to the Pomona Harvest Festival at the Pomona Fairplex December 5 - 7. The following companies will be offering their gourmet products to taste and to purchase.

It�s the perfect time to choose presents for the holidays!

21 Missions Organics
Arlene's Toffee (below)
Art of Chipotle
Napa Valley Fudge
Spindel Farms

Brown bag desserts

�As time-pressed workers try to cut costs and eat healthier, brown-bagging is becoming increasingly popular in the American workplace,� according to a new study from The NPD Group, a leading market research company. In 2007, the company reports that Americans took 8.5 billion brown bag lunches to work. That�s a lot of lunches!

Pop a dessert into your lunch bag from one of these Savor California companies, and be prepared to share with envious co-workers!

Alice's Stick Cookies. These are so buttery, they melt in your mouth. Vanilla, Lemon, Orange-Chocolate, and Cinnamon-Ginger.

Arlene's Tofffee. In addition to toffee, Arlene makes Chocolate and Caramel Dipped Pretzels.

Donsuemor Madeleines. The classic French tea cake, moist with a rich, buttery flavor (below).

Healdsburg Toffee Company. Almond with semi-sweet chocolate and walnuts. Cashew with white chocolate and coconut.

Marin Chef. CJ�s Stix and CJ�s Bitz. Take a handful and enjoy them throughout the day.

Napa Valley Fudge. The creamiest and dreamiest fudge (below).

Cheese in California, Part 2

California cheese has a long and illustrious history dating from the missions of the Franciscan Fathers to the present, when cheeses made in California routinely win coveted awards all over the world.

Marisa Simoes� father is the latest generation to own the Hilarides Dairy, home of Three Sisters Farmstead Cheese.

Marisa uses time-honored techniques of classic cheesemaking to make handcrafted farmstead cheese. Minimal processing means that the raw (unpasteurized) milk retains its natural flavors, which are captured in her signature Serena, aged for 60 days (above).

The �little sister� is Serenita, a softer, creamier cheese that came about in a serendipitous moment.

Building on research that his father had done in the late 1800�s, John P. Meyenberg discovered that goat�s milk has a delicious taste, is naturally homogenized, and is easy on the stomach.

The Meyenberg family tradition of producing goat milk products continues, with the addition of cheeses and butter. Meyenberg Goat Milk has awards for its European Style Goat Milk Butter, and the company has recently added goat milk cream cheese (above).

Meyenberg also makes powdered and condensed goat milk to use in cooking or when traveling, for those who are unable to eat cow's milk products.

Mozzarella Fresca specializes in fresh, all natural, Italian-style cheeses: mozzarella, mascarpone (topped with blueberries, above) and ricotta.

Creamy, moist and soft, fresh mozzarella is an entirely different taste experience from mozzarella cured in salt brine or aged.

Mascarpone is a luxuriously smooth, thick, rich cheese, that is a tasty alternative to cream in desserts and sauces.

Ricotta, low in sodium and fat, pairs with a large variety of vegetables, simple pastries, pastas, pizzas and focaccia.

Larry Peter and his team make Spring Hill Jersey Cheese handmade farmstead cheeses entirely from their own pasture-fed Jersey cows� milk.

Larry is partial to Jersey milk for cheesemaking, because the milk contains much more protein, food value and beta-carotene, as well as much more fat, so it makes creamier, tastier cheese.

Every aspect of the cheese-making and aging processes takes place on the ranch (pictured above) where tours and other activities for the public take place all year round.

Never enough cheese

See the previous "Savory News," which showcased these other California cheese producers:

Bellwether Farms
Cypress Grove Chevre (above)
Marin French Cheese
Point Reyes Farmstead Cheese
Redwood Hill Farm (below)

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