Friday, May 29, 2009

Bella Vista Ranch

We went to Bella Vista Ranch today. It's the oldest olive oil producing orchard in Texas, which sounds impressive til you find out that the the olive orchard part is only about 11 years old because no one in Texas thought to start making olive oil til around 1998..but someday, about 500 years from now, I'm sure that will sound cool. Anyway, it's a cute little place with about a thousand olive producing trees. The part we toured looks mostly like this:

They have several different varieties of olive trees and they're in their green fruit phase right now.
You can't eat them, we were told, but they won't kill you, like I thought. I think I might have read that somewhere.They also have some really cute key lime trees that are also bearing fruit, but you can't eat those either (spoilsports).
We got to see their little olive press, which sort of looks like something you'd find in the Willy Wonka Factory, only I forgot to take a picture of it. So, we got to taste a little of what very freshly pressed olive oil tastes like and let me tell ya...

It's very pretty and it smells wonderful--like freshly cut grass...

but man..

it's bad.

Like,really bad. Sort of akin to eating freshly cut grass, actually. I hear that's an acquired taste.

I don't mean to knock it--apparently, when you give it a little time to mellow, it becomes much closer to the kind of stuff you and I are used to tasting (though still quite a bit more pungent). According to our tour guide, pungency is a marker of really good, fresh stuff. But wowsa, that taste takes some getting used to. Luckily for us, they also have a little winery on the property as well so you can wash that grass taste right out.

So if you're looking for something a little coolio to do near Austin, the harvest time is around September/October which is supposed to be the best time to go. Go check it out sometime.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

this looks like fun! I love the pics:) Court