Paicines Ranch, San Benito

Hollywood history, Spanish padres and a rich agricultural bounty will come together in the first annual San Benito Olive Festival. San Benito County, located south of the San Francisco Bay Area is home to “eight of the top ten California super foods,” including spinach, broccoli and award-winning olive oil, said Festival Director Kathina Szeto.

The festival will feature handcrafted olive oils, such as Brigantino’s Organic Tuscan Blend that won Best of Class at the Los Angeles Olive Oil Competition and Oil of Paicines, a gold medal winner at the Napa Valley Olive Oil Competition.

Oils will be available for tasting, paired with locally produced chocolates, apricots, wine and other artisanal foods. Gourmet cooking demonstrations by popular chefs and a workshop by “The Olive Guy,” Don Landis on de-bittering olives at home will also be part of the program.

The festival mission is to bring awareness to the region’s world-class agriculture and artisans, with an emphasis on olive oil. “We have a wonderful history here of olive trees that were planted by the Spanish missionaries in the 1700’s,” said Szeto. “Olive oil is fascinating in that it is used universally and is cross-cultural and multigenerational.”

The October 19 event will be held at Paicines Ranch. The 7,500 acre site has been a working ranch since the mid-1880s and is well known for being where singer-actress Judy Garland married Sid Luft in 1952.

More information about the event can be found at the San Benito Olive Festival website.

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