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So...What's actually made in California?

So...What's actually made in California?

Are you searching for things that are made in California? If you're interested in food, you've come to the right place. We've rounded up the most iconic foods that are grown or created in California in this blog post. California grows an astounding amount of produce that it's famous for (olives, citrus, almonds!) and there are also so many amazing products created by local artisans that make use of these ingredients. If you think we've missed something important, drop us a line and let us know.

About us: 

We make it easy to share an authentic taste of California, and we love to help you discover products that highlight the best of the state. Check out our build a box website, where you can hand-pick products that are made in California to create the perfect gift.

Products that are made in California:

But enough about us! In this blog post we've rounded up a comprehensive list of the best made in California foods, with some of our favorite ways to experience all of them. From olive oil to grapes to cheese ... read on to learn more about iconic products that are actually made in California. 

  • Almonds
  • Olive Oil
  • Citrus 
  • Dates
  • Wine
  • Dairy
  • Sriracha
  • Avocados
  • Garlic
  • and an honorary mention to Beef
  • Almonds

    California grows more almonds than any other place on earth. They are California's 3rd largest agricultural crop (after dairy & grapes)! 

    California Almond Gift Idea: 

    Giddy Up Nuts from Los Angeles, CA. Each batch is hand crafted using seasonal local ingredients fresh from the farmers market or other craft makers. We love Rosemary Garlic, made with California Garlic & rosemary from the maker's own garden! Add them to a custom gift box here or sample all the flavors in this set.

    Olive Oil

    California's sunny skies and a mediterranean climate create the perfect conditions for golden, flavorful olive oil.

    California Olive Oil Gift Idea:

    Wonder Valley Olive Oil, Joshua Tree CA
    This gorgeous oil features a bright, herbaceous, peppery flavor. The olives are hand-picked young, yielding a greener oil, longer shelf life, and higher concentration of polyphenols + the matte black UV coated bottle protects the integrity of the oil. Check it out here. 
    Fat Gold Olive Oil, Bay Area CA
    Based in the Bay Area, Fat Gold is on a mission to de-commodify extra virgin olive oil and elevate its place in American food culture. What does that mean? They want to help Americans learn about and appreciate how delicious and special olive oil is and stop thinking about it as a generic oil sitting in the back of your pantry.
    We love how they think of olive oil in the same vein as wine. In fact, the Fat Gold team has been scouting and collaborating with other growers for years, as they continue to work on sourcing and growing California's best and most interesting olives. What an awesome mission!
    Lucky for you, you can taste these olive oils via Fat Gold's subscription club. These aren't the flashy, flavor infused oils you may have seen on Instagram...they are the real deal. Check out their program here!
    California Olive Oil Subscription - Fat Moon, Bay Area CA

      Citrus

      From lemons to tangerines to grapefruit and more, California's citrus industry is bountiful (and 2nd only in size to Florida's)!

      California Citrus Gift Idea:

      Pearson Ranch, based in the San Joaquin Valley of California grows sweet, juicy California oranges and pomelos. They also have developed close working relationships with other citrus farmers in the area to offer a variety of locally grown fruit. Available in 5 lb boxes, monthly programs, and more. Check them out here!

      California Citrus
      Photo by Rayia Soderberg on Unsplash

       

      Dates

      These sweet, caramel like gems are grown in California's desert valleys and are a far cry from dates you've probably tried before.

      California Date Gift Idea:

      A one or two pound box of luxurious fresh Rancho Meladuco dates, from California's Coachella Valley. This is a small family run that uses traditional farming and harvesting methods. You should go read all the testimonials on their site at a minimum...you need to try these days! Check them out here.

      Wine

      California is the dominant producer of wine in the United States, and is the 4th largest maker in the world! Iconic wine growing counties like Napa, Sonoma, Mendocino are well known, and for good reason.

      California Wine Gift Idea:

      A gift box from Brix26; they specialize in sourcing the best of California’s small-production boutique wines. You'll find their latest discoveries posted regularly to their website. We love that their mission is to find the best limited production wines not found in other regions of the country, and that they are completely committed to keeping up with the exploding wine scene in California so they can keep bringing fresh recommendations to us all. Check them out here.

      Dairy

      California has been the nation's leading dairy state since 1993, when it surpassed Wisconsin. We think cheese and chocolate are the two best ways to share this highlight of California. 

      California Dairy Gift Ideas:

      Cheese by Cowgirl Creamery or Point Reyes Cheese Company... or Milk Chocolate by Dick Taylor, made with A2/A2 whole milk sourced from a local family farm in Northern California.

      Add chocolate to a custom California gift basket, here.

      Sriracha

      Contrary to popular belief, Sriracha was invented in California by Chinese-Vietnamese refugee David Tran in 1980. This iconic hot sauce is now manufactured in Irwindale, just outside of Los Angeles.

      California's beef industry is also large and well known, which means we'll combine the two into another perfect California food gift, which is...

      California Sriracha Gift Idea:

      Sriracha Beef Jerky, by Tong! of Los Angeles. We can't think of a better combination that everyone will love. This product is a huge customer favorite! Add Sriracha Jerky to a custom gift basket here.

       

      Avocados

      The California avocado industry is quite large! Over the past decade, California has produced between 75% and 92% of the nation's avocados. The only other major producer is Florida, and Hawaii produces a much smaller number.

      The first recorded avocado tree in California was planted in 1856 and the first commercial orchard was planted in 1908. Seven different avocado varieties are produced commercially in California, including the Hass (this is the one most commonly available at the grocery store), Zutano, Reed, Pinkerton, Lamb Hass, Gwen, Fuerte, and Bacon varieties.

      In 2020 California grew 375.5 million pounds of avocados!! (source). San Diego and Ventura counties account for the majority of avocado production, but Santa Barbara, Riverside, and San Luis Obispo counties are also major producers. Avocados are a frost sensitive crop, so are grow mostly along the southern coast. Drought and sharply increasing water prices are affecting this crop today, though. 

      California Avocados

      Photo by Eddie Pipocas on Unsplash

      California Avocado Gift Ideas:

      Fresh Boxes of California Avocados: https://californiaavocadosdirect.com

      Hand picked farm fresh, delivered direct to you. This fourth generation family farm has grown premium California avocados since 1901. You can order freshly boxed avocados (so many varieties are available!) or sign up for an avocado subscription.

      Apparel and Posters by the California Avocado Commissionhttps://shop.californiaavocado.com

      Garlic

      California is the nation's largest garlic producer, growing approximately 87% of commercially grown garlic in the United States. Garlic is primarily grown in the San Joaquin Valley, which accounts for 91% of California's garlic. Gilroy, CA is historically known as the garlic capital of California (they even host a garlic festival each year) however the majority of the crop is no longer actually grown here.

      California Garlic Gift Ideas

      Photo by team voyas on Unsplash

      Garlic Gift Ideas:

      Garlic Shopping:

      Garlic World, located in Gilroy, sells fresh, dried, jarred, and pickled garlic. You name the form of garlic and chances are, they're selling it! Garlic World is not joking around.

      https://garlicworld.com 

      California Garlic Gift Ideas

       

      More California Gift Ideas

      We at California Crafted help people shop small & support local by creating custom gift boxes filled with products sourced exclusively from local California businesses. 

      You can hand-pick your favorite products to create a custom gift box, or shop our pre-curated selection of gifts.

      Sources cited above, if you'd like more in depth reading:

      • California Avocado industry statistical data: https://www.californiaavocadogrowers.com/industry/industry-statistical-data
      • Avocado History: https://apps1.cdfa.ca.gov/FertilizerResearch/docs/Avocado_Production_CA.pdf
      • Garlic Industry Statistics: https://ipmdata.ipmcenters.org/documents/cropprofiles/CAgarlic.pdf