Jan 04, 2016
Like Fine Olive Oil
With his hands gently grasping a small cup of light green olive oil, Kevin Aboud lowers his face and breathes in heavily.
In the same fashion as a sommelier, he's letting the rich complexity of the oil fill his senses. Quickly, he takes a shot of the oil, letting the taste filter through his mouth. He smiles. "It's delicious." Neatly organized before him are display cases housing hundreds of bottles of small-batch olive oil, ready to be tasted for anyone interested. This is Island Olive Oil company, a small establishment focused on educating and supplying the people of Honolulu with some of the world's tastiest oils. Now, aren't all olive oils basically the same, you ask?
Not even close.
Over the course of the past decade, a new cottage industry has emerged as countless palettes from across the country have developed a taste for well made olive oil. Whether you're dressing up a salad or sautéing the perfect piece of fish, once you've tasted a high-end olive oil, it's hard to go back to the stuff from the grocery store.
Think of it like wine. You have lots of different grapes that make for some very different wines—merlot, cabernet, chardonnay, etc.—and the same is true in olive oil. Different olives, depending on when they're picked, along with a variety of other conditions, create a completely different taste. Over the past decade or so, Americans have begun embracing different types of olive oils, which is really exciting for us. There's a new movement underway.
In addition to a plethora of olive oils from around the world, Island Olive Oil Co. also carries an array of captivating and authentic balsamic vinegars unlike anything you'd find on the shelves of your local grocery store. You'll also find a sizeable offering of other gourmet items, like gourmet salts, pestos, and rubs for meat on offer as well. "We like to think of ourselves as a one-stop-shop for foodies," adds Aboud with a chuckle. "But we really specialize in olive oil."
To make the experience of finding and tasting olive oil as welcoming to their customers as possible, Island Olive Oil takes great pride in teaching newcomers the intricacies of what makes a great olive oil.
"Every one of our staff members is very knowledgeable and we love to walk someone through the store and educate them on our merchandise. Traditionally, when you're tasting olive oil, a lot of people will literally take a small shot of it. We know that can be a little overpowering for some people, so we have bread on stock for them to dip with. One of the many great things about this place is that you can sample just about anything in the store. We're more than happy to walk you through the different oils and flavors we offer. We like to think of ourselves as educators."
For those of you looking to open up your world to an entirely new genre, stopping by Island Olive Oil company is a must. Whether you're interested in simply learning more or looking to up your game in the kitchen, adding distinctly flavored oils to your food is a game-changer.
1200 Ala Moana Blvd
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