Extending the Olive Branch: Safeguarding California's Olive Industry with Olivaia Ranch

November 19, 2023 Guilio Zavolta and Dr. Rachelle Bross Season 1 Episode 1
Extending the Olive Branch: Safeguarding California's Olive Industry with Olivaia Ranch
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Extending the Olive Branch: Safeguarding California's Olive Industry with Olivaia Ranch
Nov 19, 2023 Season 1 Episode 1
Guilio Zavolta and Dr. Rachelle Bross

Have you ever wondered about the first people who encountered olives? Not only were they not deterred by the bitterness of the fruit off the tree, but they soaked them in salt until the bitterness was leached out, and better yet, they squeezed them until oil was extracted. Talk about ingenuity and persistence!

Join host Sonia Mehmand as she explores the  journey from olive tree to olive oil in the heart of Tulare County. In this episode of Plated, Sonia visits Olivaia Ranch, a Lindsay-based olive grove, to unravel the tales of its century-old trees and the innovative couple, Giulio Zavolta and Dr. Rachelle Bross, who are revitalizing the region's olive oil industry.

Learn about the challenges and triumphs faced by Olivaia, as Giulio and Rachelle share their unique approach to olive farming, blending, and creating exquisite oils. Together, we'll discover the rich history of Tulare County's agricultural roots and the potential for olives to shape a sustainable future in the face of water scarcity.

You can learn more about where to purchase Olivaia products at

Show Notes Transcript

Have you ever wondered about the first people who encountered olives? Not only were they not deterred by the bitterness of the fruit off the tree, but they soaked them in salt until the bitterness was leached out, and better yet, they squeezed them until oil was extracted. Talk about ingenuity and persistence!

Join host Sonia Mehmand as she explores the  journey from olive tree to olive oil in the heart of Tulare County. In this episode of Plated, Sonia visits Olivaia Ranch, a Lindsay-based olive grove, to unravel the tales of its century-old trees and the innovative couple, Giulio Zavolta and Dr. Rachelle Bross, who are revitalizing the region's olive oil industry.

Learn about the challenges and triumphs faced by Olivaia, as Giulio and Rachelle share their unique approach to olive farming, blending, and creating exquisite oils. Together, we'll discover the rich history of Tulare County's agricultural roots and the potential for olives to shape a sustainable future in the face of water scarcity.

You can learn more about where to purchase Olivaia products at

  📍  Have you ever wondered about the first people who encountered olives?  not only were they not deterred by the bitterness of the fruit off the tree,,   but they soaked them in salt until the bitterness was leached out, and better yet, they squeezed them until oil was extracted.  If that's not ingenuity and persistence, then I don't know what is.

 Olive oil is touted for having all kinds of health benefits. It's anti inflammatory. It's rich in antioxidants,. It's the foundation of cuisines of the Mediterranean and Middle East,  all of which are known for their blue zones.

 But aside from that,  it just tastes good. 📍  

 Welcome to Plated, a podcast that explores how food gets on your plate.  I'm your host, Sonia Mehmand, and together we'll learn more about the agricultural landscape, food producers, restaurants, and eaters that make up Tulare County.  These conversations will highlight the intricate connections between food, culture, land, and community in our region.

Tulare County is known for the diversity of crops it produces. But what about the foodways of its people?  I want to dive deeper and explore the ways that people grow, think about, prepare, and eat food in Tulare County. I'm kicking things off with a visit to Olivaia, an olive grove in Lindsay,  a place that was once called the Olive Capital of the World.

Olive oil is a good place to start because the path from producer to consumer is pretty direct and it's a food that tastes best with minimal processing. The California olive oil industry has become better known in the past decade, but it has a ways to go.

Italy and Spain dominate the playing field, but California's relative youth does have its advantages. Enter Olivaia. Olivaia was established in 2012.  It was purchased by Canada born, L. A. based couple Giulio Zavolta, an architect, and Dr. Rochelle Bross, a nutritionist. They were inspired by a dear friend to embark on this agricultural endeavor, and they each bring their individual expertise  to olive farming. They purchased a mature olive grove with trees that were over a hundred years old, and some of these trees have been grafted with mystery olive cultivars, which gave Rachel and Julio some detective work to do.

The variety of cultivars at Olivaya has presented the company with a lot of challenges, but also opportunities to create unique oils and inventive blends. Their experimental approach to olive oil has paid off, winning them best of show in competitions across California. Julia and Rochelle talk about what they've learned from their olives over the past decade and what the future has in store for them as they look to put olive oil back on the map in Tulare County. 

Cold open

  📍  We farm this in ways that nobody else does. We literally go around every week checking every single tree, checking every single sprinkler, turning the valve of the sprinkler on or off depending on whether that particular tree needs water or not. And I gotta tell you, there was times where I felt like This is not right what we're doing. Because it's just a lot of work. 

They're like babies. Yeah. And each child is different. Exactly. Um, 📍     


could you guys  tell me a bit about your olive oil origin story?

So Julio and I actually come from a place where there are no olives, which is Canada. And we moved here in the late  nineties. And Giulio's family is Italian. Half my family is from Southern Europe. So sort of the climate and the trees and the agriculture felt very familiar to Giulio and related very much to his family's history in Italy where they grow olives.

And we moved here, met a gentleman who turned out to be a very large olive grower and became friends and we were very much inspired by what he did. 

Yeah, so his name is Albert Vera. He was the mayor of Culver City and ran an Italian deli in Culver City. And I was desperate for Italian... And we ended up becoming the best of friends.

He became family to us. I had just finished  my graduate degree in architecture. And he was trying to convince me to... bail on it and help him grow olives out here. Unfortunately, he passed away, but he planted a seed in my head that one day perhaps do something that goes back to my roots in, in Italy.

And so we started looking for, for property out here and I think there was a divine intervention because this block came up for sale and it's next door to my. Dear friend who had passed away. 


we've had only the the best of luck. We've come on to the scene of olive oil making and our first year out. We got best of show.

This place is also special to us because the trees had been abandoned and we spent the first 5 6 years basically just trying to rehabilitate the trees. A tree like this one here is 125 years old, plus or minus. Yeah, so we, we rehabilitated them and then in 2017 got serious about making some oil because we had olives that we didn't know what to do with.

This ranch was predominantly for table olives and we sold to the local cannery and we discovered these unique  olives.

  There were always trees that the pickers didn't pick. And we, you start to notice that and Each of those trees had olives that were very different. Now they're all shaped very different.

They have different colors, different sizes. And so we realized we had like what, 200 of these sort of oddball trees. And we actually wanted to know what they were. So we. sent some samples to be tested at UC Davis. We sent samples to a university in Spain, and while they weren't able to identify the actual varietal, they were able to tell us that we have 10 unique different types of olives .

So what I I know happened when Orchards like this were established back when the industry was starting here in California and this that's the California ripe olive industry It's those Can black olives that you see everywhere? So they for the Sevillano, which is the the big queen olive They were experimenting with different  rootstock To see if they can dwarf the tree a little bit if they can increase the yield because these grow really really big So we actually top them every two years otherwise there'd be another 20 feet to them. So I imagine they were probably experimenting on different rootstock and we happen to have a block here that has a lot of different rootstock because as Rochelle was saying, we have sevianos where you'll have a trunk with the seviano and then there'll be two other ones with different olives.

and we have quite a few of those now. We're actually trying to propagate that because what we found was these unique olives that are coming from the root stock that we don't know what they are actually produce a really nice oil, which we call our, our block X, block X cause we don't know what it is.

Heirloom olive oil.  Can you show us one of those? Oh, absolutely. Yeah, let's walk down this way over here. 

 (Giulio proceeded to part the branches of a nearby tree to show me his mystery tree.) 

Yeah, so and what you'll notice is the the these unique trees Actually produce different than other trees . Most olives are alternate bearing but these unique olives from these unique trees they bear all the time, and they're always full of olives.

This Sevillano tree And in the past, the prior owners of this block basically abandoned it.

So, what happens is, an olive tree, it always shoots out new shoots. They're suckers, and you have to come and take them out because they're otherwise taking energy from the tree. Well, some of them were left, became trees. And if we move to the side over here... Different trunk, separate tree, and these are unique olives that are coming from that very unique tree, and that's come from the unique rootstock.

The Sevillano that we have, that we make oil with, our yield is so low. It's literally amongst the lowest amongst all olives from a yield point of view. So, you have olive oil cultivars that will produce. Yeah. Anywhere between 30 and 50 gallons per ton. Our ano produces between 10 and 15. Oh, wow. Yes. Very, very low difference. Yeah. Yeah. Very low.


when we first started doing this and we were talking about making oil, there's a lot of skepticism among the, the local farmers because people hadn't made oil with, with these type of trees.

The reason we make oil with it is because we used to sell our Sevillano to a local Canner,  I guess who made these unique Sevillano olives. And unfortunately, he... Passed away and business kind of ended and we had no homes for these beautiful olives. We weren't quite ready to start brining our own olives.

We were at the time getting the oil going. And so we decided to make oil with our Sevillano and Sevillano makes exquisite, delicate oil and we've really worked on it. 

But the flavor's very concentrated. 

it's really what's beautiful about it, it's a delicate oil, so there's not a lot of bitterness, not a lot of pungency. And usually when you don't have those two things, you also don't have a lot of fruit, a lot of flavor, but in this case, it has a lot of fruit, it has a lot of flavor.

And so the American consumer who's not used to that higher level of bitterness and spiciness, they really like the sevillana. Yeah, it's actually become our most popular oil and we didn't set out to make that our most popular oil. It just kind of happened. It's done phenomenally well. The Arceviano was entered in five competitions.

It got gold everywhere. Also got, on top of the gold, got two best of shows and two best of class. 

These are unique cultivars themselves, and this is another experiment.

So, the region from, of Italy that I come from is Lazio. And in the Gaeta area of Lazio, they have their own cultivar. You may know in Italy, every region has its own olive, its own grape. It's fantastic. The biodiversity is incredible there. So, our olive in Italy is the Trana olive. And it produces a beautiful medium olive.

oil that's really fruit forward, easy on the pungency, easy on the bitterness. It's why I like our Sevillano as much as I do, because I grew up with that kind of an oil. And to be honest, we set out to create oils that were that way. We're not, we're, yes, we want to have a high level of, of fennels in our oil, but our main focus is to produce an oil that has a lot of fruit in it that you can easily pair with food.

It's accessible to people of different cultures also. 

Yeah. But we also, we are also huge believers that olive oil is a flavor enhancer. It should be seen like salt or pepper in your pantry. It's there. You should have five or six of them and you should pair it with food according to the sort of fruit notes that you get from it, from the spiciness that you get from it.

And so going back to the Etrana, the Etrana is this beautiful, unique olive. And so We wanted to experiment here. So we planted about 150 Itrana trees. Hopefully next year they'll, they'll be bringing a lot of olives so that we can start seeing what the, how they do here in California and in particular in the Central Valley where it's a little different than Central Coast in Italy.

 But going to what Giulio was saying about the pairing of flavors, you know, When we talk to people about olive oil and olive tasting, we make sure that they understand that, you know, a very pungent, bitter oil is wonderful in food that it sort of goes with, so like a grilled steak, right, would be wonderful with that.

But if you put something like that on top of a very delicate fish, for example, you're actually competing too much with those flavors. You won't really appreciate the taste of the fish. And that's where something like the seviano olive oil, which is more of a delicate oil, 

and my background is in nutrition. I actually work  in clinical research. And so from a nutrition standpoint, you know, our perspective is Healthy food is only healthy if people eat it.

And so a more, you know, the more delicate, accessible olive oil in our case, we think is the kind of thing that people will incorporate into their food. As I was saying before, across different cultures, across different cuisines. It's like a Gately kind of drug,  to the olive oil world, because really, I mean, Americans, if you look at the percent of Americans who consume olive oil, I mean, what is it?

It's a tiny number. There's such a huge. Amount of room to grow and it's like one thing that if people made that change You're actually enhancing the nutritional quality of your diet Even if you change nothing else by just adding olive oil You're actually making your diet that much more healthy 

I'm a big proponent of blending. So prior to doing this, I was fascinated by the wine world and we actually did wines for, for about four years. And I learned the art of blending with wines.

 You can do the same with, with oils. So we've planted. Other cultivars on top of the unique ones that we have so that we will have the tools to actually blend different oils together to create special oils for the region. 

The balance in our olive oil, I think, is something that really stands out. It's not just one thing at the beginning and then fading off into nothing or the reverse, where you start off with not much flavor at the front of your mouth. And then by the time it gets to  the back of your throat, you're coughing it's so pungent.

 I think our olive oil has just a little bit of everything that makes it special. And so that experience of consuming it just feels like it's just, just right.     

They're blends. They're not mono varietal wines. And they're amongst some of the most sought out wines in the world. I think there is something to blending. And so that's why we planted some of the cultivars we did. 

  There's an art to it and there's an intention behind everything, right? 

 this grove,  it's Sevillano Manzanilla mixed.   They intentionally put those olives together because they understood that from a pollination standpoint, when you have these complimentary type of varietals, you actually get better fruit, more fruit.

And so From nature standpoint, it's understood that this combining of different varietals is actually better. You can use different foods to create just magic in your mouth when it comes to flavor and that if people begin to understand that those flavors... typically, it's not just that they taste good, but they typically are found in foods that are actually extremely good for you.

And so I think another thing that we're trying to do from a future standpoint is really promote olive oil within the context of a lifestyle, right? So that where people are not taking their kids to restaurants and letting them eat chicken nuggets because that's what's on the kids menu, that the kids are going to be interested in eating food that's really, you know, interesting and delicious and, and that promoting of the idea that, you know, you want flavor in your food, you want food that's good. local, that you maybe know who's producing the food, that it tastes delicious, that it's good for you, that it's good for the environment. It's not just one thing, 

 I wanted to get a sense of where you see the production of olive oil in contributing to Tulare County or Central Valley's food chain.

 Where do you see yourselves in the bigger picture, but in this region in particular? 

Well, I think We're a small producer, so we're not going to really move the dial no matter what we do here.  Where could move the dial in terms of Tulare County is showing that these old trees can produce really good oil, if not even better oil than some of the newer trees that are being put into the ground.

I think we've already shown we can produce phenomenal  oil.  

How does your background come into play? Because I know you mentioned you've got roots in Italy.  

My great grandparents were were big olive producers. My great grandfather actually had an entire hillside of olives.

 I inherited a tiny little bit of it. Olives are a very big part of our life at home in Canada. Because there was always oil that was coming over from Italy from the family. So we always had our own oil from Italy in Canada and 

we weren't able to buy it in Canada easily at the time.

Oh, no, of course not.  And There was always table olives, and we would actually make table olives in Canada. Believe it or not, we would buy olives from here in California. Really? Yes. Yes, probably from the local area. Likely from neighbors of ours. Wow. Because this area was actually producing olives to ship to the Northeast.

And so we would make our own table olives with these fresh olives bought from California. And of course, every time we'd make a trip to Italy, there's always the connection to the trees there. Trees that, you know, my great grandfather and my grandfather planted and  skipped a generation. My dad left Italy at the age of 18.

He knew something about olives. My interest in olives was not only the family side. It's slow food, the slow food movement in Italy, which I learned of through architecture. 

 What's that connection? 

Well, You know, slow food is, it's not just about food. It's really about culture and people and lifestyle and, and how you take a moment to actually appreciate what you have.

And for slow food, food is how you slow down and take a moment to actually appreciate the ones around you and all that life has to offer. And on top of that, get the pleasure from, from food. I always saw architecture as a social, and cultural art, first and foremost. Unfortunately, in North America, we We've really pushed architecture as part of big business, 

and so there was always a little bit of a void, even though I was working on some wonderful projects across the U. S. As a designer  , and what I had learned of slow food while I was, Learning about architecture.

It made me go back to slow food because you eat all the time. You eat every day. Food brings people together and I saw in food the ability to do what sometimes architecture wasn't, wasn't doing and I knew of olives and olive oil and how they are treasured by folks who appreciate them and it just, to me, it became the medium for me to do what was really important in my heart, which was produce something that brings social and cultural value.

I think the olive oil in California really has the ability to do that because it hasn't been discovered by your average American yet. 

Why do you think that California olive oil? isn't as sought out as, , Italian or Spanish 

 I think the olive oil industry currently is kind of where the wine industry was in the 60s, where it's like saying no, you know what, California, our climates are so similar to the Mediterranean, that we can produce just as good, if not better wines and olive oils.

And I think now, especially where we're understanding how important it is to eat locally and, and not have your food have to travel thousands of miles,  to get to where you are, if you have. food like this around you, not only is it going to be better for you to get from an environmental standpoint, it's fresher, so it's going to taste better.

I think a lot of people don't realize that olive oil should be eaten fresh, 

the Best moment for oil is when it's made and it's all downhill from there. It's a slow downhill the first year or two, but it's all downhill.  What we need in California is a Judgment of Paris event and I'm not sure if you're familiar with it. Yeah, so back in the 70s, you know, Robert Mondavi and a few other winemakers were really pushing this idea that California wines were As good, if not better than French and Italian wines, more French, because at the time, Italy was really not producing some of their better stuff as they are right now.

And there was a shop in Paris that basically curated their, their wines and they would have competitions. So they did something bold. They invited Americans to the competition. And so some Americans, Brought their wines over and the Americans won the competition.

Wow. That's amazing. And France went crazy over it. California beat out France. Wow. 

It's the change in perception that people have, right? That you're not producing with the big gallons of like, not such great 

and that catapulted. California into a new era of winemaking. It's why now California wines are appreciated across the world.

It's why Americans are buying California wines as much as they are other wines. And the industry has grown tremendously  since then. We need that moment when the average American recognizes California oil in the same way. Because I think California oil is there. And you know, we actually have had some California.

Oils that have demonstrated the ability to compete with the best. Yeah. At international, at international competition competitions, so even our own oil, we, we, we have entered international competitions and we've gotten best of class in them. But at the Los Angeles International Olive Oil competition, they give one award to the best oil at the show.

From anywhere in the world and two years ago, I think it's two or three years ago, there was a California oil that actually got that award. But We need a bigger event, somewhere where the media really jumps on it.

The Los Angeles International Competition is big amongst olive oil producers, but not... Most people wouldn't know. Most people don't know about it. Not the 

public. There's so much competition right now from a cost standpoint with the imported oils.

Because... Those countries, and appropriately so, support their farmers, subsidize their farmers, so that people can continue to be producing crops like this. In, in California, there isn't that type of support, and I think that there needs to be a change in the attitude of the agricultural system. To want to, they have to want to recognize first that this is an industry.

That has a future that can grow and I think there needs to be a little bit more support both in terms of helping the farmers produce, but also not making it so easy for these cheap. Olive oils to flood our markets here and make it almost, you know, makes it very difficult to compete. 

I want to go back.

You mentioned Tulare County. So Tulare County was the epicenter of Table Olives when the industry got   It then kind of migrated north around the Corning and Orland area and for many years then it, there was two centers really for the table olives. So California, you know, has a rich history with olives and Tulare County has an even richer history with olives.

I think we should not lose that history and we've been on the path of losing it. We have, we had over 40, 000 acres of table olives at some point. Wow. And we're down to like 12, 000. Table olives. 


That's California. Oh, California. California. So we've been on a downtrend. The olive oil industry has been ramping up, but it's not in Tulare County.

 It's happening northern, the northern end of the valley and, and Paso area and then northern California because

Unfortunately, in this part of the county, we have citrus and we have a lot of table grapes and we've got a lot of almonds. The money you can make with those is far greater than you can with olives. And so what's happened here is folks have pushed out their olives and replace them with citrus, with grapes, with almonds.

Which, you know, from a farmer's point of view, a grower's point of view, that's all fine. You've got to make the business decisions that make sense to you. But that's where I think we, we as olive producers who want to stick to olives, need a little bit of help. And I think that help has to come from the state, it has to come from perhaps non profits who put the message out there.

And the reason why I say that is because... This drought issue that we're having likely is not going to go away. And I believe the olives are the crop of the future because they require a lot less water than the very crops that we're trying to replace it with. We can make do with likely a third of the water.

That's some of the other crops require. So, truly, if we want to maintain jobs in Tulare County, because right now, Not only are we losing table olives, but we're losing the other crops as well because there's not enough water. The regulations that have been put in place are basically shrinking the agricultural footprint.

And the loss is also among small growers.

It's not among the big corporate farming

again, we want more olives because It's a viable crop that uses less water, number one.

Number two it's also a crop that I think is ideal for smaller growers. And we want smaller growers. We want smaller producers. We cannot compete on a quantity with other parts of the world. Spain is the largest producer of olive oil, by far. Their production methods... And the way their industry is subsidized, we will never be able to compete dollar per dollar if you're just going to be doing oil on a quantity basis.

We need to become A place where we're producing higher quality oils. And we are. We need to get that message over there. And we gotta encourage others. Instead of going to, to citrus or to grapes or to almonds. To go to olives. It's going to help us from a water point of view, but it's a crop that I think lends itself really well for smaller producers.

Italy has been a great example of that. Majority of growers in Italy are not. Industrial size, all of course, they're small  family owned growers and  to me, if you want to maintain quality, it's only through the smaller grower, smaller producer, if you're growing thousands of acres, I just don't see how that can produce these higher level.

Now, I got to tell you, there are some large producers in California that are doing a a pretty good job with it, and I hope they continue to do that, 

 But they're relying predominantly on one or two cultivars.

Because you got to rely on the cultivars that you can do a high density. Farming, and there's only a few of those, and so then you're limited to those oils, and that runs contrary to what I was saying before, I want olive oils to be known as flavor enhancers, and, and then we all learn how we need to have three, four, five, six different oils in our pantry, and we use them differently,  whether it's for breakfast, lunch, or dinner, whatever.

Given California's rich culinary landscape we've got some of the best restaurants in the world, it makes sense to take that approach. 


biodiversity, I mean, in the, like, in the area of...

grain and stuff. Flour now, the bread that we eat is made with a very small variety of grains, and it's actually produced flours with a lot more gluten in it, because it's easier to bake bread with more  gluten. Now, what are you seeing  in our society? A lot more people who have gluten sensitivities that's not how bread used to be made.

So I think with all crops, olives included, we need to think about the fact that you don't just want to have Arbequina, you know, growing. You to have different types so that there is that variety. 

And if oil can take something like a tomato.  Another beautiful crop that, if it's done right, is beautiful on its own.

And you take a little olive oil and drizzle it over it, right? You create this magic. And, Rochelle mentioned this to me many years ago, and it's always stuck to me. It's like, so why aren't kids eating fresh produce anymore? Well, that's because everything in the grocery store is tasteless. Of course, you know, all of this manufactured food is better because they pump it up with all the sugars and salts and everything in it so it tastes better, so they eat more of it.

But if you  go grab a tomato from your garden and drizzle a little olive oil and a pinch of salt on it, it's beautiful.   If our food systems and our food production was tailored more into making sure that we were eating healthy and flavorful, we wouldn't be buying this other 

stuff. Yeah, and that's why I think that the Central Valley is such a good place for you guys to be doing this work because I mean, we moved here two and a half years ago, and I mean, I've been ruined.

Like, I can't eat fruits and vegetables anywhere else. I go to the Visalia Farmer's Market, and I, got some of the best tomatoes of my life there.  There's some really fantastic produce out here,  and it's fresh. 

I've grown to love this community, and I find it equally my home as our home in Sherman Oaks. The people out here are genuine, hard working.  A lot of the folks, especially in this part of the valley, they're still family owned growers. And they're struggling it's not easy.

And so they've got to stick to what actually Generates money.  And what generates money is not necessarily what we're talking about And so there has to be Really this massive outreach and I'm so happy that you're doing this because  we need to be able to create the market so that these very growers here can start growing things accordingly  to the market that will let the Central Valley flourish as this breadbasket of these wonderful produce and not keep going down the path  of Moving aside the more flavorful crops for things that are mass produced that most of the time don't even stay in the valley.

There has to be a moment where we say, you know what? We need to feed ourselves first. We need to create the best products  so that we... Make sure that we're all healthy and then we have the ability to put this message out there And there still may be room for some of the more industrial farming, but we have to make room for this, I think, new type of farming.

That was here before and we've lost over the years.  

What is the future for Olivaia specifically? Where do you see guys going in the next five, 10 years ? 

I, I think, yeah, that is a good question.

well, we're trying to expand our footprint. So the property next door that belongs to my neighbor, the very neighbor that inspired us to do this. His son now. His son is inspired by what we've been able to do here.  we are going to partner up. And we are going to do more of what we do here with different cultivars on that property.

   ðŸ“ But I think we're going to continue to focus on creating premium products, like extra virgin olive oil, our own table olives, which we're going to release shortly. So that we can do our part in getting the message that you're talking about out there.

 We hope we, we can continue to show that we you can create these premium products right here in Tulare County 

 That was Dr. Rochelle Bross and Giulio Zavolta of Olivaia in Lindsay, California. You can purchase their olive oils at Monet's in Exeter, Pacific Treasures and Gourmet in Visalia, and Sierra Nuthouse in Fresno. To learn more about their work and purchase their products online, you can visit olivaiaolive.

com. You can pre order this year's Olio Nuovo, which is the oil pressed from the olives picked at the very beginning of the year's harvest. And believe me when I say, it is liquid gold. You don't want to miss out. I've already ordered mine. Stay tuned for our next episode, where we'll continue to explore how Tulare County's food gets plated. This episode was produced and edited by me, Sonia Mehmand, with support from Nasir Jebeli.

You can learn more about this podcast at platedpod. com. And until then, stay hungry and savor the stories all around you.