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From Our Back Yard: Olive oil, Texas style

When Jim Henry started planting olive trees in Texas nearly 20 years ago, people told him it couldn’t be done. Olive trees wouldn’t grow here, and even if they did, they wouldn’t produce high-quality olive oil.

Good thing he didn’t listen. Now his Texas Olive Ranch, in Carrizo Springs, is producing pure, extra virgin olive oil – the purest and most prized variety, made from the first pressing of the olives.

The Texas Olive Ranch oils are pressed from Spanish and Greek olive varieties, which thrive in the hot growing climate of the Middle Rio Grande Valley. The Texas company also creates flavored olive oils, like roasted garlic, mesquite, Rio orange, basil, and the very Texan-sounding rattlesnake (actually, chipotle- and pepper-infused).

If you thought great olive oils had to come from Spain or Italy, give one of these Texas-produced oils a try. You’ll see why Texas olive oils are giving those old-world producers a run for their money.