Put Your Taste Buds to the Test at The Olive Shoppe

Posted Nov 20th, 2019 in Retail Roundup

As consumers are becoming more health-conscious, healthy foods are in greater demand. Adapting to this demand, many shops and restaurants in Downtown Wilmington offer a range of healthy options. Merchants like The Olive Shoppe in The Cotton Exchange focus exclusively on natural products.

The owner, Darya Suddreth, always loved to cook and eat healthy food and learned that cooking with 100 percent natural oils was a great foundation for good health. She also discovered there was more to olive oil than the selection available in grocery stores, many of which contain additives.

Quality olive oils are labeled “Extra Virgin and First Cold-Pressed,” which may sound a little high-brow for the general consumer. However, high-quality oils contain the most antioxidants and have the purest flavor. The oils for sale at The Olive Shoppe are 100 percent pure and natural and are mostly imported from Spain. They are made with green olives and contain no artificial colors or flavors.

When you’re ready to experience the real deal, take your pick from the four gourmet blends or from more than a dozen different infused and flavored olive oils. If you’re overwhelmed by the different varieties, manager Ron Cerron says, “Come and experience it.” He will guide you based on your individual taste preferences and let you try before you buy. Currently, the three biggest selling oils are roasted garlic, fresh basil and Tuscan herb.

Many chefs and home cooks use olive oil to enhance their recipes; however, you can also pair it with an aged balsamic to make a tasty salad dressing or serve it as an appetizer with crusty bread. To help novice foodies, Darrya has created a list of suggested pairings.

Contrary to popular belief, balsamic is more than just vinegar. The balsamic selection at The Olive Shoppe originates from Modena, Italy where the industry has been run by three families for several generations.

Quality balsamic is made from grapes that are naturally sweet and are aged in barrels for 12 years or more. The dark balsamic originates from red grapes that have been aged in charred oak barrels. The lighter balsamic is made from white grapes to create a more aesthetically pleasing product that doesn’t discolor other foods. Ron says the traditional, dark-aged balsamic is the most popular.

The Olive Shoppe lets you taste-test balsamic too. You can drop in any time for tastings. Just call ahead if you want to bring a group. While you’re there, check out the hand-stuffed olives and spreads―your taste buds will thank you!

‘Tis the season for giving, so splurge on a gourmet gift basket or buy stocking-stuffer sizes so everyone can experience the real deal.

Hours: Mon-Sun, 11:00 a.m. – 4:00 p.m.

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The Olive Shoppe
331 N Front St
Wilmington, NC 28401

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