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FOOD GLORIA'S FOOD - December 2015 - Kansas City
By Gloria Gale
There’s a lot of co-mingling going on between silky olive oil and zesty vinegar in one downtown Overland Park tasting shop
Jeanne Mackay, owner of The Tasteful Olive, is a spirited self-starter.
The spark of this entrepreneur started percolating in 2009 when she walked into a Chicago specialty shop and tasted the flavorful combination of olive oil and balsamic vinegar.
Intrigued, Mackay tucked away thoughts of her next endeavor to open a retail shop in the Kansas City area.
Before long, Mackay was actively exploring this new taste profile, embracing the challenge.
“Before I knew it, I was becoming well versed in my proposed venture,” she says, acknowledging her timing couldn’t have been better, boosted by the public’s awareness of olive oil as a healthy fat.
After a storefront in historic downtown Overland Park was secured, The Tasteful Olive opened in spring 2010 with Mackay at the helm assisted by eight part-time employees.
Harvesting The Seasons
“We love our customers, so when someone new comes in our task is to let them peruse and invite them to taste the oils and vinegars,” says Mackay who clearly enjoys the interaction.
Outfitted with rows of imposing stainless steel vats or ‘fustis,’ the 15 and 25-liter metal containers hold the goods: golden oils and thick, rich vinegars. Each contains different flavors ranging from fruity to savory oil that can be mixed with balsamic or wine vinegar. All it takes is a turn of the tiny spigot dribbling the contents into a small paper cup. One swig of the elixirs elicits smiles, puckers, and continued rounds.
This experiential trial of various oil and vinegar combinations is encouraged. With a room full of more than 60 different products harvested from around the world, bottles can be tailored exactly to your taste.
Oils range from First Fruits such as Arbequina, Picholine, and Coratina, to Fused/Infused/ High Heat and Gourmet.
If Eureka Green Limonato or Milanese Gremolata sounds delicious, drink up.
Mackay explains, “Our flavored (or infused) olive oils start with the same fresh olive oil ... one of the mild intensity olive oils are chosen after each hemisphere's harvest to be used as the base. They’re tested to the highest standards of extra virgin quality otherwise known as Ultra-Premium.
Our unflavored olive oils come from both hemispheres; the olives processed into these oils have been picked and then pressed into oil within 3-4 hours of picking. This is what we call fresh.”
Balsamic vinegar comes from Modena, Italy and then aged for at least 12 years in wooden barrels. From there, the vinegars are naturally flavored with real fruit, spice, and herbs. In addition to Mango, Pomegranate Quince, Fig, Juniper Berry…even Chocolate, to name just a few of the white and dark balsamic available, The Tasteful Oil features pastas, olives, sea salts, spices & herbs, teas, sauces, hair & skin products, books and more.
7945 Santa Fe
Overland Park, KS
Nutritious Baked Apples
* This recipe is for two large apples.
1 T butter, melted
1 tsp Tasteful Olive's Honey Ginger Balsamic Vinegar
4 tsp granola (or use more if you have jumbo apples)
2 tsp ground cinnamon
Use EITHER 3 droperfuls Stevia OR 2 tsp brown sugar
Wash and core apples.
Mix all ingredients, spoon into the apple.
Cover the bottom of a loaf pan with aluminum foil. Put about 1/2" of water on bottom of pan. Place apples in pan. Bake at 350 degrees F for 45 - 60 minutes. Test frequently with fork until desired tenderness is reached.
Recipe by Jeanne Mackay
Kansas City writer, producer, and photostylist Gloria Gale is a sleuth when it comes to discovering interesting features for the media.
As a native she's compiled a burgeoning collection of editorial features on food, travel and lifestyle for national and local magazines, books, individuals, and corporate clients.
Most recently, Gloria profiled area restaurants as a columnist for 435 Magazine and was one of KCUR's Food Critics radio program.
Want to know where to find the best tastes in town? Contact Gloria: firstname.lastname@example.org