Bread-Dippable To-Do: San Benito Olive Fest

Is the shiny little oily treasure a must in your cookery? Here's your culinary confab.

San Benito Olive Festival

A SLICE OF BREAD... that's not studded with little glistening bits of the tangiest fruitstuff on the planet is a wonder to behold, to chew, to devour. You can spread almond butter on it, or mashed garlic, or you can stick under the broiler topped by a slice of cheese (be it super-fancy or ready for the lunchbox). The slice can be rye or wheat or sourdough or country and it'll sing, whether it arrives on your plate completely plain or loaded with various vegetables. Bread slices only deserve the highest of praise, and yet... And yet. The pit-passionate olive aficionado may pause, ever so slightly, and wish that her most favorite food had been baked into the bread, the better to enhance that cheese slice or those vegetables or that mashed garlic (even the almond butter might find a luscious new level when paired with olive's briny character). Those who wish everything had olives in it -- or practically everything, save, perhaps, ice cream sundaes, will be in Hollister on Saturday, Oct. 17. It's a day-long party devoted to that unsung star of the cheese plate and the powerhouse behind tapenade, and it is happening at...

BOLADO PARK: The San Benito Olive Festival is devoted to spotlighting, and consuming/enjoying, "olive oils, world-class wines and craft beers, artisanal foods" and sweets like "fine chocolates" to round it all out. Chefs'll be in the park, talking about cooking/baking/everythinging with olives, and several regional companies shall be on hand to sell their wares. Look for Oils of Paicines, Brigantino Olive Oil, and Papa Joe's Spicy Products out of Paso Robles. Ohhh, spicy olives. If there's anything that can out-olive an olive in awesomeness, it might be an olive in a piquant coating of pepper-flecked oil. If you did the Paso-packed Olive Festival in mid-August, and yet you need more juicy, pit-filled flavor, keep the middle of October in mind, and Hollister, for your olive needs. For sure, the middle of October is dominated by all kinds of candy, but there are just some people that would rather sit at home with a bowl full of dry-cured picholine.

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