Taste the Olive
STORY AND PHOTOS BY: AMI BROWN
More than a simple wine store, nestled within The Grape and
Ale, is the ultimate Extra Virgin Olive Oil and Balsamic Vinegar
Mecca that is Taste the Olive. Wow!
When I visited owner, David Andersen, I realized just how much I didn’t know about olive oil! He lives and breathes his passion and knows more about the topic than probably anyone else in the region. His enthusiasm so apparent when we chatted, his goal is to educate the consumer and provide healthier food options.
Davis grew up around food and the restaurant business. His parents and other family members were in the food service industry, he started washing dishes at the tender age of 13. After culinary school Dave was a gourmet chef in Raleigh for more than 18 years.
With an established Taste the Olive for the past six years in Wilmington, David decided that teaming up with The Grape and Ale was the perfect option.
“As a small business owner, I want to earn your business and customer service is our number one goal. We want to give people options when it comes to olive oils and vinegars, where there are none,” David tells me.
Did you know that olive oil could be a substitute for butter? It’s such a healthier choice, less fat, no calories and full of anti-oxidants and rich flavor. When you visit Taste the Olive – that’s exactly what you do – you get to taste it before you buy. David knows just how to pair it with the right food and drink combination for a unique learning experience every time.
Olive Oil can be used in so many ways and has countless recipe options. It’s perfect for marinating proteins, delicious in quinoa, and of course in salads and on bruschetta. The balsamic vinegars are just as versatile. It’s naturally sweet, and a nice alternative for diabetics – low in sugar. A tasty compliment to waffles, pancakes or anything you want to add a little special pizazz.
One of the most unique products is black and white truffle oil. This can be put on popcorn, macaroni and cheese, pizza, risotto and mashed potatoes to name a few. Another interesting flavor is their roasted sesame seed and toasted walnut oil. These are perfect for soups and casseroles.
The Balsamic Vinegars at Taste the Olive all come from Modena Italy. They offer an extensive array of aged, white, and flavor-infused balsamics, but the crown jewel and customer favorite is the aged 18 year traditional balsamic – a rich, complex, and smooth taste sure to hit the spot.
Some other flavors include Very Vanilla Bean, Razzy Raspberry, or Wild About Blueberries and the white balsamic vinegars (made with Trebbiano grapes). The signature vinegars like Go Coconuts, Buzzing Honey Ginger, or Blushing Peach will be a winner at your next dinner party for sure.
Taste the Olive also carries a wide variety of unique gifts and kitchen accessories. From chopping blocks, quirky hand made cards to silicone (unbreakable) wine glasses, I’m sure you will find that perfect gift for the holidays. Check out their website for easy recipes and gifts galore. www.tastetheolive.com
David hosts an array of classes at Taste the Olive. He wants to educate the public about oils and vinegars, and believe me, he’s got the knowledge. For more information check out their facebook page with
the current class schedule.
Taste the Olive also carries some unique salts, spices and rubs. These are perfect for holiday cooking, stews, soups and marinades. Whatever you want to spice up this season, I’m sure you will find a delectable solution – just ask David, I’m sure he will have the perfect answer.
The next time you need that bottle of wine, craft beer or something special, make sure to stop in at the Grape and Ale and sample some amazing oils and vinegars with Taste the Olive. Located at 8521 E. Oak Island Drive, Oak Island. Hours are 11 a.m. to 6 p.m. Monday through Saturday and noon to 5 p.m. on Sunday
THE PERFECT TOMATO BRUSCHETTA RECIPE
- 1lb of ripe tomatoes
- 2 cloves of fresh garlic, finely chopped
- 1 handful of fresh basil, finely chopped
- 1 TBSP oregano
- pinch of pepperoncino
- salt and pepper to taste
- 1 Cup of Taste The Olive’s Frantoio-Spoletto extra virgin olive oil
- 6 slices of crusty bread of your choice
Immerse tomatoes in very hot water, then in cold water, and then peel.
Chop tomatoes into small pieces and add garlic, basil, pepercino, salt and pepper.
Add the olive oil and marinate at room temperature for at least 1 hour.
Just before serving, grill the bread.
Place each slice on a plate and top with the sauce or put sauce in bowl for them to spoon their own.