SACRAMENTO — The California State Fair is pleased to announce the sixth California Commercial Extra Virgin Olive Oil Competition. Judging will take place at the Cal Expo Fairgrounds on March 4, 2020. A team of 15 certified sensory experts, led by Head Judge Sue Langstaff, will gather in the state’s capitol city to determine the very best extra virgin and flavored olive oils produced in the state.
Each year over 700 new shining bottles of extra virgin and flavored olive oils line the cellar shelves of Cal Expo, each arriving with the hope of each Producer that their care, expertise and hard work will result in a coveted Best of Show Golden Bear Trophy. After 5 years of successful olive oil competitions, State Fair ribbons now grace the myriad of new olive oil tasting rooms of California.
The two 2020 Best of Show winners, one for extra virgin and one for flavored olive oil, will be honored at a Capitol Steps press event on June 25, 2020. Award-winning producers will receive an exclusive opportunity to sample and sell their oils to the Fair’s 650,000 annual guests as Featured Producers in the California’s Kitchen exhibit at the California State Fair. Fair guests will expand their own appreciation for high quality oils in tasting classes taught by industry professionals at the adjacent Taste of California Education Center.
The California State Fair is proud to announce the Head Judge for the 2020 competition, Sue Langstaff, the Principal of Applied Sensory LLC, a consulting company specializing in providing independent sensory evaluation services to the wine, beer and olive oil industries. Langstaff will employ her expertise and experience at the California State Fair Olive Oil Judging to lead a team of 15 Judges and ensure a fair and ethical judging process.
Langstaff brings with her some serious credentials. She leads a commercial olive oil taste panel which is recognized by the American Oil Chemists’ Society and is an instructor for the Sensory Evaluation of Olive Oil Certificate Course conducted through the U.C. Davis Olive Center. She has a M.S. from U.C. Davis where she studied Sensory Science, Enology and Brewing.
Sue has been a professional judge at the Los Angeles International Extra Virgin Olive Oil Competition and other California competitions. She has also been the head judge at several international olive oil competitions: in 2013 for the New Zealand Extra Virgin Olive Oil Awards and in 2017 and 2018 for the South African Extra Virgin Olive Oil Competition.
Sue is co-editor of the book Olive Oil Sensory Science (Wiley/ Blackwell, 2014) and is the creator of The Defects Wheel® for Olive Oil, Beer and Wine. Sue was profiled in the bestseller Gulp: Adventures on the Alimentary Canal (W. W. Norton and Co., 2013) by Mary Roach.
Visit www.CAStateFair.org for more information and to enter online. The deadline for online entry for the 2020 California State Fair Extra Virgin Olive Oil Competition is February 14, 2020. Chemical lab analysis results and oil samples are due at Cal Expo offices on February 21, 2020.
–California State Fair
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