We were fortunate enough to attend a special event at the latest sensation in St Augustine, an olive oil & balsamic vinegar tasting… at The Ancient Olive on King street. Yes, you read right, an olive oil tasting and what an amazing event, a truly wonderful evening. Thank you, to all the nice folks at the Ancient Olive, we appreciate your invention and hospitality.
The 30+ Inns of the St Augustine Historic Inns association (SAHI) were invited to a private party at the Ancient Olive in downtown St Augustine Florida. This unique store is new to the city as well as a burgeoning industry that sells gourmet olive oils and rare balsamic vinegars to discerning patrons. So we had the opportunity to meet these new folks, see good friends and fellow innkeepers, and to taste world-class olive oil.
The Olive, as we call it now, was kind enough to serve us all wine and food. They laid-out a buffet of food made from their divine oils and vinegar that included a wonderful hummus, 2 goat-cheese-spreads with dates and chocolate favored, and traditional balsamic vinegar – yum, and meatballs in yet another balsamic vinegar. I never knew vinegar could be a dessert!
But there is so much more; they sell about 15 seasonal Extra Virgin Olive Oils (EVOO) from light and delicate oils to a big hardy and bold flavor oils and every weight in-between. But that’s not all; they have about 12 flavor infused EVOOs with flavors that include Lemon, Lime, Blood Orange, Herbs de Province, and my new favorite Tuscan Herb.
So that’s one side of the building. On the other side they sell balsamic vinegar, all kinds - 30 or so - of the stuff, dark as well as white. I never knew there was white balsamic vinegar! And again they have traditional and flavored but, I fell in love with the Lemongrass white vinegar… simply amazing! Other flavors include Apricot, Blackberry-Ginger, Cinnamon-Pear, Espresso… ooh. They also sell specialty pasta, olives, and pesto and more.
This is exactly the type of place at which guests staying at the Inn on Charlotte will enjoy spending an afternoon learning about olives, oils, and old wine (Vinegar). After an hour in this shop, one’s head will be full of recipes to prepare and new ideas for time with friends and cocktail parties alike. The next stop must be the wine tasting! Gifted Cork – here we come.
TAO, welcome to St Augustine and we wish you the very best - IOC