Glad Garden Club Tastes Olive Oil

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There is a secret in Lyons, Georgia, even though it is not kept very well. On October 10, 2022, members of the Glad Garden Club traveled to just outside Lyons, Georgia, to an olive lover’s paradise. Tommie Williams had travelled throughout the years and became enamored of the olive trees in Italy. With his passion for farming, along with his brothers, he thought that Georgia's mild climate, soil and water were perhaps the perfect combination for growing several olive cultivars. So, Tommie decided to try growing olives "just to see what would happen". All their visions, hard work and persistence have paid off and the result is a mild, fruity flavored olive oil with a fresh, unique taste. The olives grown at the farm are arbequina, hand-picked and locally pressed. The olive is a hard bitter fruit not suitable for eating off the tree. Raw olives straight from the tree contain oleuropein, an extremally bitter compound that makes them completely inedible. Olives for eating have to be cured. Believe it or not they belong to a group of stone fruits and are related to mangoes, cherries, peaches, almonds, and pistachios. They are very high in Vitamin E and other powerful antioxidants. Mr. & Mrs. Tommie Williams gave members a tour of the beautiful grounds and explained the processing and labeling of the Olive Oil. We toured the different types of beautiful olive trees needed for extra virgin oil. The actual processing plant was fascinating as the fruits are cold pressed into large containers to be processed into bottles for shipment. After our tour, members were invited to a tasting of the various olive oils which was quite surprising as a sip of fresh olive oil is quite the pleasant surprise. Much like the sampling of a fine wine. Also, there was an offering of flavored oils, such as basil, garlic, rosemary & lemon. An informative and good time was had by all.

Terra Dolce Farms recently received a Gold Award by the New York International Olive Oil Award Competition for medium intensity arbequina oil which is an event held every year in April. This year, a leading panel of international experts tasted more than 700 extra virgin olive oils from around the world to determine which deserve to be known as the very best olive oils in the world. Congratulations Terra Dolce Farms.

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