Business Spotlight. Olive Oil Tasting: Choose Your Oil Like You Choose Your Wine
Photos by JJ Kaplan
“I introduce you to the good stuff, and then you never go back,” Ed O’Connell, owner of The Olive Mill, said with a grin. He’s talking about olive oil and vinegar. Seriously! And you know what? He is absolutely right.
Located at 10 S. Rangeline Rd. in Carmel, The Olive Mill offers the finest in olive
oils, balsamic vinegars and related items such as balsamic glazes, salts, spices and tapenades. The concept for the store came to Ed and his wife, Debbie, during an anniversary trip to Napa Valley some years ago. While in Napa, the O’Connells noticed that some of the vineyards were replacing grape vines with olive trees. In November 2005, they opened their first store in Geneva, Illinois, followed by a second store in Saugatuck, Michigan, and recently in Carmel.
What makes the olive oil offered by The Olive Mill so extraordinary? The OLIVES. The olive oils you typically find in the grocery store are a mixture of different types of olives. As with apples, each variety of olive can have a distinctly different flavor. That’s why some apples are good for pies and some are good for baking. The Olive Mill olive oils are cold-pressed single varietal olives; each freshly poured bottle contains just one type of olive. The Olive Mill’s knowledgeable staff will be happy to help direct you to the right olive oil for any dish you are preparing and also introduce you to uses you may not have imagined.
It’s not just the quality of the olive oils that makes The Olive Mill extraordinary. The Olive Mill offers an unbelievable 40 to 50 different flavored extra virgin olive oils. Among the flavored olive oils offered are cilantro, butter, blood orange and basil. The Olive Mill encourages its customers to come in and sample the different flavors, sort of like a wine tasting but without the headache. So a grab a friend or two and head down to the Olive Mill to try some of the best olive oils you have ever tasted. Ed O’Connell knows that once you taste his olive oils, you will be hooked.
In addition to a great selection of high quality extra virgin olive oils, The Olive Mill also offers special
balsamic vinegars. Grocery store brands of balsamic vinegars are aged four to six years while The Olive Mill’s are aged 10 to 12 years. The extended aging, similar to most wines, results in richer flavors and also vinegars that are sweeter and thicker. In addition to the traditional balsamic flavor, The Olive Mill has flavored balsamic vinegars such as black currant, blackberry ginger, cherry, chocolate and cinnamon spiced apple. Try the black currant balsamic vinegar over ice cream with fresh berries. Amazing! Or add some flavor to your favorite stir-fry recipe by including a shot of the blackberry ginger balsamic vinegar. The ginger with the hint of blackberry will propel your boring stir-fry to a new level.
As we head into the holiday season, the O’Connells encourage you to bring some friends and, per European tradition, taste before you buy. You can also pick up some hostess gifts or custom gift baskets that they will make while you wait. If you can’t make it to the store, you can shop online at www.olivemillgeneva.com. The Olive Mill is a great place to find a gift for that hard-to-buy-for person. They will love you for introducing them to The Olive Mill, but they will never be able to go back to plain olive oil or balsamic vinegar again.
The Olive Mill
10 S. Rangeline Rd.
Carmel, IN 46032
Toll Free (866) 548-3844
Mon – Sat. 10 am-6 pm
Sunday 12-5 pm
Always open online at www.olivemillgeneva.com/carmel.html