Archive for September, 2009

Turning from Tomatoes & Toward the Persimmons


Brookside Farm Autumn 2009 Brentwood, CA

We queried our farmers last week, just before the Autumnal Equinox on September 22nd, to get one last report as tomato season comes to a close and to find out what is planned for the cooler months of fall.

Welling Tom of Brookside Farm had this to tell us:

Most of our tomatoes are finished, except for the San Marzano, which is still going strong.  It turns out that most of the tomato plants which we bought from the nursery (a rather large operation which I will not name) as Early Girl were not Early Girl. We suspected something was not right when the fruits began to ripen in late June. They were much too big and squatty shaped, and the vines never grew as tall as Early Girl vines should. Early Girl fruits should be a bit pointed at the blossom end, and the “shoulders” around the calyx should not be very broad. Those girls are not supposed to look so butch! Continue reading ‘Turning from Tomatoes & Toward the Persimmons’

Back on the Trail: Truffle Trip to Italy 2009


I’ll be leaving for Italy in late October and returning on November 16th, I presume, with a load of fine truffles to be served during our annual Truffles Dinners (November 17 – November 20, 2009).  This trip is always filled with wonderful twists and turns and we plan on posting brief reports along the way here on the Oliveto Community Journal.  Continue reading ‘Back on the Trail: Truffle Trip to Italy 2009′

This Out & About We’re All About Porchetta Sandwiches

Oliveto's pig roast at the Rockridge Out & About Festival 2008

Oliveto's pig roast at the Rockridge Out & About Festival 2008

Next Sunday, September 27th, Oliveto will be participating is the annual Rockridge Out & About Street Festival.  This is a really nice event with many activities for both kids and adults, and lots of great stuff to eat.

About fifteen years ago, we decided to roast a pig for the Out & About Festival and make porchetta sandwiches…and we’ve never been able to live that one down.  We’ve tried to change it up a few times & got nothing but sad clowns walking around in a daze looking for “the pig.”  So we’ve learned to stick with what we know best & give the people what they want.  We’ve also learned that people really like porchetta sandwiches, and one pig just won’t do.  So, this year we’ll be roasting two whole pigs & serving porchetta sandwiches.  But be warned, even with two pigs we usually sell out, so don’t come rolling in around 5:30 looking for “the pig” because all you’ll find left will be some cute kid licking his fingers.

Rockridge Out & About 2009
Sunday, September 27th
11 am – 6 pm

This Just In: Vitellone & Chanetrelles

beefA month ago we took delivery of two vitellone (young beef), each around 600 lbs., from Mac Magruder.  Primarily raised on mother’s milk with some grass-feeding, the meat has been aging in our meat locker.  Chef Canales has been adjusting his aging times to find the right balance between the delicate veal, and the characteristic aged-meat flavors.  Tonight we will be using the loin, and Friday we will be serving the rib eye.  They will be on the menu as tagliata, served with braised Torpedo onions from Brookside Farm in Brentwood.  These animals are fairly small, and there isn’t a huge amount of this meat.  We might still have some on Saturday, but perhaps not. Continue reading ‘This Just In: Vitellone & Chanetrelles’

Introducing the Oliveto Grain Project

Last year, we got our hands on seeds of three Italian wheat varieties and asked our friendly farmers to grow them out for us in experimental plots.  That put into gear a great adventure for us, which we’ll be sharing with you over the next few weeks and months.

Along the way we found an extraordinary miller, who has created a technique for milling a “true whole-milled” flour that has exceptional texture and flavor.

Labor Day Weekend at the Oliveto Cafe


This weekend (Sept. 4th – Sept 7th), we will be celebrating the launch of our Wheat Project in the Oliveto Cafe.  With the Bay Bridge closed and the Labor Day holiday, this will be a laid-back, late summer shindig with a street-fair feel and some great food, served throughout the day and into the night.  Pastry chef Jenny Raven tells us about what she’s got planned and conducts a taste test with her eleven-month-old son Ofelio. Continue reading ‘Labor Day Weekend at the Oliveto Cafe’