The children scattered to the four winds over spring break and Mr. Olive Crazy and I hit the road. Our first stop was Boston. Mr. Olive Crazy’s friend, fellow engineer, and U Mass grad, Vinod A. acted as our tour guide.
Vinod was great. He knew where everything was and at the critical time (just when we needed to park) Vinod secured us a parking spot on Boston’s chic Newbury Street. What a guy!
Even the location of the parking spot was perfect. I’ve had my eye on a Kate Spade purse and we parked directly in front of the Kate Spade shop. Of course I am always on the hunt for anything to do with olives and just beneath Kate Spade was the French olive and olive oil merchant, Oliviers & Co. The main photo is of Oliviers & Co.’s front window.
What good fortune. Inside Oliviers & Co. was a wonderland of olive spreads, pickled olives, olive oils, and other interesting condiments. I chatted with one of the sales clerks for quite a while. She was very helpful. She knew a lot about the company and didn’t seem to be merely repeating corporate catch phrases. I found her knowledge refreshing.
My husband and I sampled a few oils, which indeed tasted fresh and delicious, but there were many and I wanted to try something different. The clerk suggested the flavored oils. I couldn’t decide which one to try, since they had several, so I bought one of each. I figured they’d make a good subject for an Olive Crazy article or two. Apparently flavored olive oil is not the same as infused, but more on that another day. Mr. Olive Crazy and I made our selections and had it all shipped home. As for the Kate Spade purse, it had a big bow on it – ick!
Oliviers & Co. was started by two guys from Mane which is in the Alpes-de-Haute-Provence region of France. This is the region where I spent many-a-happy-day fishing in a mountain lake with my friend, Chris, who lived in Valence, France. It is beautiful and peaceful with fantastic restaurants tucked in the most unlikely places.
The guys from Mane wanted to select small-batch olive oils directly from groves and producers, and sell them from retail shops. This is what they say in the ‘Values’ paragraph on their original website (if you’d like to read this website in English or German without using Google translate there is a drop-down box on the top right of the Home page):
“It began with a true fascination with the Mare Nostrum, its countryside, its light, and its legendary tree, the olive. A very human adventure, built on happy accidents, decisive meetings, and relationships between gourmets. An immense respect for people and their expertise, an insistence on quality, and real concern for authenticity and sharing in an increasingly divided world. A sense of and respect for tradition, revisited in the light of modernity and originality. A demanding future, a desire for transparency and traceability for a consumer who respects nature and the environment. And finally: places for discovery and conviviality, where unimagined tastes and smells come together.”
I like it.
Tom and I have since returned from our adventures and the box of olive tapenades, salt, and olive oils was waiting for us. Tom immediately tucked into the tapenades. I am waiting until just before I am ready to write about the oils to open and taste them. Some of the flavors in the olive oils I can easily imagine, lemon and basil, others I can’t, bergamot and mint. Here is a photo of the Oliviers & Co. flavored olive oil line up along with a container of salt neither Tom nor I recall purchasing. Our taste buds welcome it into our home just the same.
May the sun shine through your branches.