Photo of olives by Dan Shouse via Creative Commons
The weather gods are showing us their good side lately, and all this sunshine is making me daydream of possible quick trips to take with the fam. Our travels often revolve around food as much as sights, but in the case of this day trip, they’re one in the same.
I recently read about Graber Olive House while doing online research for Chow— the husband is such an olive fanatic (he will eat a whole can of black olives as a dinner appetizer) that I immediately got excited. An olive house?! That might even put a spring in that homebody’s step.
Graber Olive House is nearly 120 years old, and it’s basically an old-school (and still-running) olive operation from start to finish: orchards, curing tubs, size sorters, and canning machinery all in one spot. Their big press point is that all of their olives are tree-ripened, unlike so many of the fruits we eat nowadays that are picked long before they’re ripe so that they can age as they travel across oceans and continents. The argument is that tree-ripened produce tastes better, and lots of people think Graber olives are a prime example of this (of course they’re pricier to boot).
I also learned from their website that those canned olives we all played with on our fingertips as kids are oxidized to that deep and consistent black color. Unoxidized olives (like those cured at Graber Olive House) won’t all be the same color, but rather an array of red, green, and tan shades. Kinda cool!
The house is just 40 miles away from LA in Ontario, so it makes for an easy day trip. You can email to set up a tour of the entire grounds any time of year, but it sounds like fall is the best time. There are also various gift shops full of fancy food items. 315 E. Fourth Street, Ontario; 800-996-5483
Stop number two: The Donut Man, a stand on Route 66 that’s just 18 miles from Graber. I haven’t had one of these delicious looking treats myself, but from what I hear they are some of the best donuts in So Cal, and fresh strawberry donuts are available all of spring! 915 E Rte 66, Glendora; 626-335-9111
Seriously?! Take a look at this crazy photo menu. If that doesn’t get you drooling in about five seconds, you must be a robot.
The road is calling me to the Inland Empire.