Sunday, December 4, 2011

The Olive and the Grape

I went to the mall with my friend yesterday (in search of rainbow colored skinny jeans - that is a whole different story) and we stumbled upon a new store called "The Olive and the Grape."  We thought it was a wine store, and her husband and I like wine, so we went over to check it out.

We were pleasantly surprised to find it was a gourmet vinegar/olive oil store!  They have samples of almost everything and we were giddy with excitement tasting them all.  There were gourmet olive oils (I wouldn't pay more for plain olive oil so this wasn't that exciting), about 10 flavors of balsamic vinegar, 4 or 5 flavored olive oils, and about 10 viniagrettes.  They also had two of the best dips I have ever tasted, what looked to be homemade pastas (or fancy at least) and stuffed olives (garlic, habanero, and jalapeno).

The main brand of the vinegars was Gianni's Fine Foods.

Here are the flavors of balsamic:
  • Chipotle Garlic Balsamic
  • Classic 18 Balsamic
  • Dark Chocolate Balsamic
  • Healthy Berry Balsamic
  • Peach Lime Cinnamon Balsamic
  • Pear Lime Cinnamon Balsamic
  • Raspberry Lime Ricky Balsamic
  • Sassy Citrus Balsamic
Here are the viniagrettes:
  • Asian Persuasion
  • Classic Cabernet
  • Classic Chardonnay
  • Garlic Blue Cheese and Toasted Walnut
  • Classic Italian
  • It's All Greek to Me
  • Liquid Pesto
  • Six Mushroom White Truffle
  • Sun-Dried Tomato Caprese
  • Tuscan-Herb Roasted Garli
Here are the olive oils:
  • Meyer Lemon
  • Triple Spanish
  • Roasted Garlic
  • Chile
  • Orange
I wasn't a fan of dark chocolate balsamic by itself (but can imagine it would be good with fruit/ice cream) but when the salesman mixed it with orange olive oil, it was amazing.  It tasted just like one of those dark chocolate orange chocolate candies.

Other delicious ones of note were Liquid Pesto, Sassy Citrus Balsamic, Healthy Berry Balsamic, and Raspberry Lime Ricky Balsamic.  However, almost each and every vinegar/viniagrette was fantastic.  The only one I wasn't a huge fan of was the pear/peach lime cinnamon vinegars.  They would be good on the right food though, I am sure.

I ended up buying Raspberry Lime Ricky Balsamic.  Right after purchasing it, I ran out and bought lettuce, chives, cilantro, rosemary, dill, thyme and parsley.  I tossed together a big salad, and eagerly drizzled the balsamic and some olive oil over my salad.  TO DIE FOR.  The vinegar is very thick and rich - it is obviously good quality.


Tonight I am going to try marinating turkey cutlets in the balsamic with some olive oil, then sprinkling with rosemary. I'll let you know how it turns out.

My biggest problem?  I think I have already used about half the is not going to be cheap if I become addicted to this stuff. I have been mixing olive oil and the vinegar in a little dish, then using lettuce leaves to sop it up (the healthy version of a bread dish).  I have totally ignored all other cooking because this is so delicious. 

I have two other issues - this stuff is healthy, but not as healthy as normal balsamic.  Also, a little voice in the back of my head keeps telling me I could make this.  Yes, I might be able to get close, but I don't think it would be such exceptional quality. 

Here are the nutritional facts for my bottle, in case you are curious (for 1 Tablespoon):
40 calories (calories from fat: 0), Total fat: 0g, Trans fat: 0g, Cholesterol: 0g, Sodium: 0mg, Total Carbs: 10g, Dietary fiber: 0g, Sugars: 6 g, Protein: 0g.

For the ingredients, it only says 18-year-old balsamic vinegar, puree of red raspberries, and lime juice (another reason I think I can make it myself).  I am going to look into it if I get a chance, and will let you know if these end up being easy to make (some, I am sure, would be easier than others).

Which one sounds the tastiest to you?  I think when I get another for myself, I will try out the Healthy Berry Balsamic.


Anonymous said...

OMG, these sound so so good!! I would like the sun dried tomato caprese, and dad would love asian persuasion....yummy!! Good find!

Anonymous said...

Now that the Olive and the Grape is no longer at the mall, you can find all of our fine products at

Anonymous said...

There is a new Olive Oil and Balsamic Kiosk in the Boise Towne Square Mall. There are dozens of flavors and a full tasting bar. Downstairs by Sephora