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Thursday, 14 January 2016 11:25

Winter is Good Time to Celebrate San Luis Obispo County's Bounty

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Morro Bay Oyster Co PicmonkeyMorro Bay oyster harvesterTASTE News Service, January 14, 2015 - San Luis Obispo County, located halfway between Los Angeles and San Francisco on California's breathtaking Central Coast, offers an assortment of locally-sourced and produced food and drink. The area's range of coastal and inland influences is demonstrated by its broad assortment of gastronomic treats ranging from fresh foods, innovative spirits, unique craft beers and much more. The destination is overflowing with an abundance of great products found only on the Central Coast.


Locally Sourced Foods Flourish in San Luis Obispo County

There are a wide variety of new and interesting farms and fisheries across San Luis Obispo County that specialize in unique foods including shellfish, meat, produce and dairy products supplying local restaurants and markets. You can taste the fresh farm fare from the producers below at one of San Luis Obispo County's restaurants or farmer's markets:

Morro Bay Oyster Company: Morro Bay holds a long-standing history as a thriving seaport with beautiful ocean views and a tranquil yet productive estuary. Morro Bay Oyster Company harvests Pacific Gold Oysters by hand directly from the pristine water, which are then sold to local restaurants and to the public at farmers markets and off its barge in Morro Bay harbor.

The Abalone Farm: The largest aquaculture facility of its kind in the country, The Abalone Farm Inc. produces over 100 tons of California Red Abalone each year. The facility is not open to the public, but its products are available through several distributors.

Adelaida Springs Ranch: Savory and sustainable grass-fed beef and lamb, are the specialties of Adelaida Springs Ranch, where tours offer fascinating information about the area, from the geography and its history to the workings of the ranch.

Rinconada Dairy: Cheesemaking at this Santa Margarita dairy evolved from 25 years of organic gardening and a passion for producing healthful and delicious food. Every step in the process of breeding, lambing, feeding, milking and cheesemaking is hands-on.

Stepladder Ranch PicmonkeyStepladder Ranch: This family-owned ranch in Cambria features Hass avocados, sub-tropical fruits, forest-raised pork, fresh goat cheese and a luxury vacation rental.

Windrose Farm: Located east of Paso Robles, Windrose Farm cultivates vegetable rotations including tomatoes, potatoes, onions, garlic, green and dry beans, and much more. The farm also has a sheep pasture and offers tours and special tastings in partnership with FARMstead Ed.  

San Luis Obispo County is also home to dozens of craft olive and walnut oil producers including Pasolivo, Olea Farm, Kiler Ridge Olive Oil, and Limerock Orchards, just to name a few. Sample these and other unparalleled offerings at over a dozen farmer's markets throughout the week.


Distilling Movement Growing in San Luis Obispo County

To rival its evolving foodie trends, the craft spirit industry in San Luis Obispo County has grown rapidly over the last several years. The movement is a terrific complement to an area known for producing world-class wines and there are a variety of distilleries in the region that offer tours and tastings.

Pendray's Distillery: Having a distillery was always part of the business plan for PasoPort winery and in 2013, winemaker Steve Glossner began production of brandy for fortification of its ports, and has since expanded to brandy and grappa.

Re:Find: The first to utilize premium Paso Robles-grown grapes as their base, Alex and Monica Villicana operate Re:Find out of the Villicana winery, making limoncello, gin, vodka and whiskey.

Wine Shine: Co-owners Mark Sahaydak and Patrick Brooks operate this small still house specializing in flavored moonshines, brandies and whiskey.


Discover Craft Beers (and Cider)

There's no shortage of craft breweries in San Luis Obispo County, producing a wide variety of beers including IPAs, porters, sours, and just about any other style you could imagine. Drop by any of the following craft breweries to raise a glass and sample some of their creations.

BarrelHouse Brewing Co.: BarrelHouse Brewing's portfolio of beers include BarrelHouse Blonde, BarrelHouse Rye IPA, Barrelhouse IPA, and BarrelHouse Stout on draft and in 22oz bottles.

Firestone Walker Brewing Company: Based in Paso Robles, Firestone Walker utilizes a patented system in its oak barrel fermentation process and is known for producing hoppy ales. The brewery was World Beer Cup Champion Brewery for mid-sized breweries in 2004, 2006, 2010, and 2012.Bristol Cidery PicmonkeyBelly up to the bar at Bristol Cidery

Bristols Cider: Made in Atascadero from select varieties of local apples, Bristols' ciders are 100% apple juice and fermented on the native yeasts of the fruit in different casks, from retired Bourbon casks to retired white wine barrels to stainless steel.

Editor’s Note: Experiencing these local delicacies of San Luis Obispo County can be intriguing in winter, when the crowds are light and the weather is often welcoming. More information can be had at www.visitsanluisobispocounty.com. If you’re planning a visit, first visit the Resource Directory of Taste California Travel. There you’ll find links to the websites of hundreds of Lodging and Dining options, as well as links to winery and craft beer sites.

Read 1350 times Last modified on Thursday, 14 January 2016 11:46

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