I was thinking about setting up the party when our friend Laura (from The DIY Couple) sent me an email asking if we wanted to go to a olive oil tasting party that she won at an auction. Craziness. So we talked and merged our parties together.
I called Marianne ,the owner, and she couldn't have been nicer or more accommodating to our situation. Last Thursday, we finally got to go to the tasting and it did not disappoint. The shop is located in downtown Clayton, MO by the Ritz Carlton in a newer little shopping area.
She greeted us with an after hours tasting, dips and appetizers already set up. She also told us we could bring our own snacks and wine, which we totally did. BYOW :) After everyone had arrived, we talked,munched, and walked around the store. The entire olive bar was ours to taste. Yum-E! I was in heaven . I love olives and I couldn't get enough. They had a new olive called the Castelvetrano . It was a large green olive with a smooth but great taste.
After a bit of eating and drinking of some wine, she began by telling us a bit about olives, how olive oil was made, and what made each one different/unique and what made each one good and even better. Did you know olive oil can go bad? Did you know how long that takes? Not too long. A bunch of us looked at each other and said we needed to go home and check the dates on the bottles we had. Yikes!
Then she explained the olive oil tasting bar. She had olive oils from all over the world, some of the more exotic being from South Africa and Palestine. They were arranged from soft and mild to bold and almost spicy. Each tasting bottle had where the oils were from , the flavors you could expect and what kind of wine would go best.
She explained how to taste the olive oil by using these little cups, pumping the bottle three times to get enough, smell it just like a wine, then sipping the oil letting it roll around your tongue and then breathing in a little through your tongue to spread it around. The stronger oils would actually make your throat feel warm and make your cough because of the antioxidants in the oils. I know what you're thinking.. crazy stuff . I had no idea that oil could do all of this.
They also had some amazing balsamic vinegars. I love almost anything with vinegar so I was sold before I even started tasting. Imagine the best vinegars and oils you've ever tried from the grocery store and throw that out the window. These were all way more flavorful and the quality was incredible.
The store was filled with all kinds of different things to buy and try. They have local honey and local soaps made from soy. The honey was so much more intense than what you can buy in the store and I was surprised by how different two local honeys can taste.
We have already used both of these with dinner and vegetables. I loved them drizzled on my salad as well. Their online site is great if you need a gift for the foodie in your life. Or if you live in Saint Louis, I highly recommend a trip over there to see Marianne. You can sample some of the oils, vinegars, and honeys any time you come in. She'll help you pick out the best one for you.
( I was in no way compensated for this post. The stuff was just that good and I wanted to share. The opinions are all my own)