When it comes to November most folks look forward to turkey, stuffing and pumpkin pie but me...I look forward to one of my favorite fruits making it's yearly reentrance--the satsuma or as it's known in Japanese, the mikan. I love how it's relatively seedless, peels readily and is oh so sweet! I can usually eat two or three in a sitting. This Saturday, Mr. S. and I decided to check out the Mountain Mandarin Festival up in Auburn where they showcase the Owari Satsuma along with other varieties of mandarins. We weren't sure what to expect but it actually turned out to be quite fun (and a lot more crowded than we thought it would be). There were many mandarin growers, vendors and cooking demos to check out along with some live music. In the food court there were numerous mandarin goodies ("Mandarin milkshake anyone?") to nosh on along with a plethora of non-mandarin choices ranging from lobster rolls, gyros, catfish, beignets, clam chowder, to even Hawaiian lunch plates. We decided to grab some grilled chicken and rice from Sonoma Teriyaki because the aroma was positively mouthwatering and it turned out to be absolutely delicious! The best part of the festival for me though was stumbling across a tent for Lucero Olive Oil, a company from Corning, whose products I've been curious about for awhile. Lucky me was able to taste several of their oils and vinegars...all of which were lovely. I ended up buying a large bottle of their Mandarin Balsamic Vinegar (made especially for the festival) and a small bottle of their Chocolate Olive Oil (which they sell on their website). Can't wait to play around with them in my kitchen!

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