Step up your olive oil game
Tahoe Oil & Spice, located in the heart of historic downtown Truckee, came to be after owner Natasha Weissman and her husband tasted incredible, flavorful olive oils, abroad.
“My husband and I have always been foodies,” Weissman said. “We got really into olive oil in Italy and Spain, and we just kept wondering why it tasted so different than at home in the states.”
After researching the processes of growing and crushing olives and ultimately storing the oil, Weissman discovered tricks she wasn’t aware of before.
“The taste of olive oil will degrade if it isn’t stored properly,” she said. “It doesn’t like heat, light or air – but everyone stores it on the countertop, right next to the hot stove.”
Tahoe Oil & Spice specializes in fresh premium oils, infused oils and balsamic vinegars, gourmet food items, spices and honey. The storefront features over 60, stainless-steel Fustis filled with different flavored oils rich in antioxidants and arranged throughout the store in order of pungency.
There are several ways to incorporate potent oils and vinegars into your diet to reap health benefits, as well as create delicious flavor profiles for any dish. The Sierra Sun asked Weissman for her top five expert tips on olive oils and their perfect vinegar accompaniment.
“You don’t need to be a good cook with these,” Weissman said. “It’s like cheating, you just put these two ingredients together and it’s amazing to use as a marinade on roasted vegetables, kebabs, meat, even a salad dressing.”
1. Tuscan Herb Olive Oil
Flavor: This delicious blend of garlic, oregano, basil and rosemary is the store’s best selling infused olive oil.
Uses: Dip bread in this olive oil or add it to pasta, meat, salad or vegetable dishes.
2. Grapefruit Aged White Balsamic Vinegar
Flavor: The sparkling, crisp citrus flavor deliciously balances acidity and sweetness.
Uses: Try this vinegar in sparkling water and yogurt — really! It’s also a delicious flavor addition to salads and offers similar probiotic benefits as apple cider vinegar. Pair Grapefruit Aged White Balsamic Vinegar with Tuscan Herb Olive Oil for a fantastic salad dressing.
3. Baklouti Pepper Olive Oil
Flavor: This organic Chetoui olive oil is infused with 7.5 pounds of very green, young Baklouti peppers to every gallon of oil.
Uses: The heat from this olive oil is the perfect addition to any dish that needs a spicy kick. Add tangerine, Persian lime, peach, apricot or even espresso Balsamic vinegar for a tangy and delicious protein dish, soup or sauté sauce.
4. Honey-Ginger Infused Balsamic Vinegar
Flavor: Honey and ginger bring a sweet heat to this vinegar which balances its natural acidity.
Uses: Create a delicious glaze for chicken, stir-fry or even fish tacos. Adding Toasted Sesame Oil, garlic and soy sauce creates a savory flavor profile for Asian-inspired dishes.
5. Organic Arbequina Extra Virgin Olive Oil
Flavor: The olives used in this oil selection were crushed in 2016 and pack a wonderful fresh flavor making this a perfect go-to extra virgin olive oil. All oils at Tahoe Oil & Spice are tested for potency and purity, classifying their products as true extra virgin oils.
Uses: With a mild, fresh flavor, this is the perfect olive oil for daily use — just remember to store it away from heat, light and air.
Visit Tahoe Oil & Spice to try these and dozens of other flavors, learn from the experts and create your own pairings to enhance any dish.
Cassandra Walker is a features and entertainment reporter for the Sierra Sun. She can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org, 530-550-2654 or @snow1cass.