Who knew olive oil is a beverage? OK, not exactly, but I was receptive to participating in my first olive oil tasting with food pairings because I knew how fun and instructive wine tastings are. IL Fiorello Olive Oil Company is a family-owned company dedicated to growing and milling the finest quality artisan olive oil. Owners Ann and Mark Sievers produce oil from their own certified organic groves in Green Valley and Suisun Valley just up the road from Mankas Corner. I admire how the owners host Community Milling Days where neighbors can bring in their olives to grind into oil. Their Pieralisi Gold olive mill, capable of milling 5 tons of olives an hour, is the most modern and high technology milling machine in North America; one of only about 50 olive mills in the United States. They mill for over 200 growers from the Wine Country and beyond.
We’ve taken out-of-town guests there numerous times since our first tasting, and we like to drop in by ourselves for the weekend lunch specials before or after a visit to Wilkinson Acres or Larry’s Produce. One year we attended Il Fiorello’s annual lavender dinner with themed food and wine courses among the lavender plantings. That dinner was extra special at a place that always feels special. Their 8th annual All Things Lavender Weekend is coming up on June 10-11, 2023 (details at www/ilfiorello.com/purchase/events/#annual).
We enjoy IL Fiorello so much that we became club members for their quarterly productselections plus special event access. In their shop, I discovered mostarda which is a chutney-like combination of fruit and spices that for me is ideal with grilled pork tenderloin and roasted chicken. Every visit I make there ends with a cup of their homemade gelato which comes in the most imaginative flavors I’ve tasted on this side of the globe. We even buy their olive oil in refillable growlers like we would craft beer. Who knew you could do that?
It simply feels better buying great-tasting olive oil that’s locally made by passionate people. Just like fine wine and beer. But don’t take our word for it. Come join several of your Hiddenbrooke neighbors for a meet-up at IL Fiorello, 2625 Mankas Corner Road in Fairfield on Wednesday, May 31 from 5:00 p.m. to 7:00 p.m. We will tour the property and learn the history of olive oil, the significance of the term extra virgin, and the oil milling production process. Then we will visit the olive grove to see how they care for the over 10 olive varieties they grow. After the tour, we will watch 2 videos and participate in a comparative tasting of 5 of their oil/vinegar products with a small food pairings prepared with the oils in the tasting. Ann’s staff will be able to serve gelato following the tasting if people would like to enjoy the patio. This experience normally costs $50 per person for non-members, but Ann is offering it for just $40 per person if you mention Hiddenbrooke for this specific date/time when you RSVP by calling 707-864-1529. Reservations are required by Monday, May 29, 2023. If you can’t make it on May 31, then please get there sometime soon on your own.
Learn more about IL Fiorello Olive Oil Company at www.ilfiorello.com or call 707-864-1529.
We will check our calendars. Sounds fun!
Tim and Denise Moore