Joanna, founder of The Fruitstitute, opened the evening with an incredible presentation on the history of olives. The Fruitstitute is the only fruit tree service in Los Angeles, providing fruit tree care and education to backyard growers (so naturally, we adore them).
3 Takeaways from The Fruitstitute:
1. Olive oil was popular long before Brightland was born. Humans have been cultivating olive trees since the Neolithic Age
2. Olive trees are highly adaptable, drought resistant, and able to grow in poor soil...our favorite fruit grows on every single continent.
3. The oldest known olive tree is estimated to be 8,000 years old, and it is still bearing fruit!
4 Shocking Truths about Olive Oil:
1. If olives are on the ground for too long before going to the mill, they can get moldy due to heat buildup. Brightland works with a farm that has a mill onsite (ie no moldy Brightland olives!)
2. Good olive oil should never taste dirty. Olives can get dirty if they are left on the ground before they are pressed, and the dirt can stay there throughout the process leaving you with dirty tasting oil.
3. When scoping out your next bottle of olive oil at the grocery store, be sure to look for a harvest date. Olive oil is best consumed 18 months after harvest. If a bottle just says “best by,” you do not have transparency into a when it was actually harvested.
4. When flies lay eggs in an olive, that olive will still sometimes be used in the creation of olive oil. This olive oil is called “grubby,” a term in the olive oil industry for the defect caused by larvae in the olives..
The event was such a true celebration of community and getting back in touch with what we eat + where it comes from. We all went home with a free new succulent (thank you The Sill family!), and a whole new appreciation for the origin of our beloved olive oil.