LOCAL FLAVORS Sandy Oaks Olive Orchard
Olive You So Much! Exploring the Olive Oils of Central Texas
Take a moment to consider the olive oil you have in your kitchen. Don’t focus on the packaging or how old the bottle might be. Instead, imagine yourself in the orchard in which the olives that were pressed to make the oil grew. Did your mind transport you to some expansive, picturesque landscape in a sunny Mediterranean country? While a trip to Italy or Greece or Spain would be a welcome getaway for most of us, you don’t have to travel much at all to get great olive oil because Central Texas is home to several olive oil makers. According to the media organization Edible Communities, the Lone Star State is second only to California in U.S. olive oil production. With its rolling green hills, rocky soil and generally mild climate, the Hill Country is quite similar to Tuscany, the classic olive oil region of Italy, so it’s no wonder that a variety of olive oils are made right here so close to home.
Texas Hill Country Olive Company The father-daughter team of John and Cara Gambini started their Texas Hill Country Olive Company in 2008. Today, they grow seven varieties of olives and sell 14 different types of olive oils, half of which are extra virgin and the other half are infused. >>
64 WATERWAYS | February 2020
PHOTOGRAPHY BY JACOB BERRERA AND ROBERTA SORGE
By Cindy Brzostowski