Just in! Ollalieberries from Vince Gizdich of Watsonville have just arrived to Sigona’s.
Can you eat just one? With their inherent complexity of sweetness versus tart flavors and their vibrant refreshing qualities I find myself going back for more and more. These berries are truly best by the handful.
Berries are not built to last and thus those that are best are often those which are freshest, those which are coming from closest to home. Luckily, California is a proud producer many tasty berries; and the berry season is just beginning. Best of all, the variety is only going to get better over the coming weeks. Right now local Olallieberries are at their peak.
Olallieberries were originally developed in Oregon in 1935 but since then California has been responsible for the majority of production, especially along the cool coastal areas between Half Moon Bay and Monterey. Olallieberries are a sweet-tart blackberry derivative, a cross between a Logan berry and a Youngberry, picked ripe at the peak of the season they taste better than the best berry jam. When they are super sweet and juicy I can’t bear to do anything to them that might distract from the pure pleasure of eating them in their unaltered state, but when they are still a little tangy they are incredible in pies and fruit crisps.
Duarte’s Tavern in Pescadero, where the Olallieberries flourish, has built its legendary reputation on the strength of its Olallieberry pie. Since 1934 the recipe for that award winning pie has been passed down for three generations, and in 2005 Life Magazine honored it with the “best pie” designation. (That same pie is now available frozen for those who don’t want to make the trek.)
For a fun June outing, pack a picnic and head to our source, Gizdich Ranch in Watsonville for the “Pik-Yor-Sef” experience. Or save the trek and swing by our store to get a pint of these local sweeties.