13 Aug

What would martinis be without them?

By Christine Delsol,

Sonoma’s more famous winter olive festival aside, late summer is prime time for tributes to the small, firm, briny fruit. Paso Robles (San Luis Obispo County) stages its third annual olive festival Aug. 26, with tastings, cooking demonstrations and the inevitable olive oil ice cream, courtesy of olive oil producer Olivas de Oro. Call (805) 238-4103 or visit www.pasoolivefestival.com.

The little Tehama County town of Corning is home to the Bell-Carter Olive Co., the country’s largest olive processor. It’s also home to the Corning Olive Festival, Aug. 25-26, offering such variations as beer-soaked olives, Texas hot chile olives and jalapeño-stuffed olives, not to mention a parade, bed and lawnmower races and the Miss Olive contest. Call (530) 824-5550 or visit www.snowcrest.net/dlharter/olivefestival.

To wallow in olives closer to home, the 8th Annual Arts & Olive Festival (650-306-3428, www.olivefest.com) will be Oct. 2 at Cañada College, whose Redwood City campus was once known as the Olive Orchard and is still graced by hundreds of olive trees. And the Mission San Jose Olive Festival in Fremont (510-873-7701, www.msjchamber.org; click “Events”) takes place Oct. 7 on land where the Dominican Sisters order of nuns harvests olives and produces its own olive oil.

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