Oleaceae “oh lee ay’ see eye”

Santafe.com - July 18, 2011

"Stop by Oleaceae, the olive oil shop in the historic La Fonda Hotel, and be prepared for one of the finer taste experiences in Santa Fe"

There is something about quality. While driving a Volkswagen will get you where you need to go, a Bentley gives you a ride that you notice. Suddenly you're aware of the difference. Quality does matter. We don't miss what we've never known. Pull open a kitchen drawer riding on German hardware and you'll see why IKEA has its limitations.

Stop by Oleaceae, the olive oil shop in the historic La Fonda Hotel, and be prepared for one of the finer taste experiences in Santa Fe. Wandering in on a hot Sunday afternoon, I discovered you may sample all kinds of specialty olive oils, balsamic vinegars and cooking salts. Tiny cups sit next to shiny chrome vats presented in a small but airy, light room. Twist a spout and get creative. Combine oils and vinegars that tickle your imagination. Experiment. My first choice was a mix of Blood Orange Olive Oil with a Violet Balsamic. Suddenly my vision of crisp summer salads took on a new excitement and dinner parties danced in my head.

Moving down the row, I stopped to ponder a Sicilian Lemon Balsamic for a friend's birthday gift. The delightful young shopkeeper suggested I try some mixed in a cup of cold water. While the partnership of vinegar and water has long been a medicinal-remedy, not so today. It offered just a hint of fresh Meyer lemon with the thirst-quenching refreshment of cool water on a very warm day. Much like a very light lemonade without the sweetness. The combination was so refreshing it was preferable. Sold.

Along with the Sicilian Lemon and Violet Balsamics, I added bottles of Blood Orange Olive Oils to my final purchase. I knew they were the perfect holiday gifts for my friends that cook. I imagined how festive metallic bags would tie a spout to the neck of each bottle. I'd finish with a big showy bow. While a gift can be a token, an experience has always been my preference. At $19.99 for any of the 40 varieties available, Oleaceae offers quality that you can share. Tell a friend.