Entries are now being accepted for the sixth annual San Joaquin Valley Olive Oil Competition (SJVOOC); Extra Virgin Olive Oil and Flavored Olive Oil entries from commercial producers in the State of California are eligible and olive oil must be made from producers’ most recent olive harvest. Deadline for entries is May 27, 2021. This popular competition is returning after being canceled last year amid the statewide shelter-in-place order due to COVID-19, which made judging impossible.
“We are so excited for the return of the annual San Joaquin Valley Olive Oil Competition,” said Stacy Rianda, Deputy Manager II of The Big Fresno Fair. “We are honored to be able to continue our showcase and recognition of the best olive oil producers from throughout California after a year of uncertainty throughout the fair industry.”
Producers may submit multiple entries under one category but may not submit a particular entry to more than one category. All entries must be available for commercial sale at the time of entry. Entries are due by May 27, 2021. Judging will be held on June 9, 2021 and winners will be announced on June 17, 2021 by 5 p.m.
Participating producers must enter their harvest into one of two different classes: Extra Virgin Olive Oil and Flavored Olive Oil. Competition categories in the Extra Virgin Olive Oil class include: Spanish Blends (arbequina, arbosana, etc.); Spanish Singles; Italian Blends (ascolano, etc.); Italian Singles; Other Blends (picholine, barouni, etc.); Other Singles. Competition categories in the Flavored Olive Oil class include: Citrus; Herbal (rosemary; basil, etc.); Pepper (chile, jalapeno, habanero, etc.); and Other Flavors (garlic, truffle etc.).
Each submission must include an entry form, at least two 250 ml bottles of the olive oil with retail labels attached and a $60 non-refundable fee per entry. Each entry must also contain a third-party chemical analysis in order to verify extra virgin status. Entries can be dropped off at The Big Fresno Fair Administration Office or can be shipped to SJVOOC – The Big Fresno Fair, 1121 S. Chance Ave. Fresno, CA 93702 no later than 4:30 p.m. on May 27, 2021. Any entry delivered by mail, freight or express must be prepaid. The Administration Office is open Monday through Friday from 8 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. for drop offs.
Awards will be given out for Gold and Silver medals in each category, as well as one overall “Best of Show” in both the Extra Virgin Olive Oil category, Flavored Oil category and the “Best of the Valley” award.
Best of Show will be awarded to an olive oil recognized to possess special characteristics of the highest quality overall. All Gold Medal winners are eligible to compete for Best of Show in their division.
Best of the Valley will be awarded to the oil that scored the highest with the ranch or office located in the San Joaquin Valley. Medals will be awarded for both EVOO and flavored oils. Kern, Tulare, Kings, Fresno, Madera, Merced, Stanislaus and San Joaquin counties are eligible.
In 2019, 38 entries from all throughout California were received. For a complete 2019 winners list, go to: www.FresnoFair.com/SJVOOC.