Featuring over 150 organic spices, over 50 organic teas and 50 artisan salts from around the world
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JB: Sounds wonderful. And, while I'm not familiar with most of the blends you mentioned, I do love Za'atar! Do you have classes or events at Salt & Olive to reflect your mission of educating your customers' collective palate?
MDT: Classes and education are our favorite things at Salt & Olive. We do regularly scheduled in store classes, take our act on the road, and have done very fun private events like birthdays, showers, hosting work events, etc. Showing the history of olive oils, how to taste and flavor notes to look for, pairing with food. What's better than learning while you enjoy wonderful new tastes?
JB: Terrific! Hmmm, pairing, I'm glad you brought that up. I know enough to know that wine lovers pair wines based on what they're eating, but you're saying that people do something similar with olive oils? What a concept! Tell me more, please.
MDT: Wine and Olive Oil are very similar - in the regions and locations trees can thrive, the effect of terroir on taste profiles, the creativity of the producer (miller vs vintner) in the process and the actual tasting protocol of wine and olive oil is very much alike. Pairing food with olive oil is also much like pairing food with wine; a good pairing can make a meal, while a poor pairing can overwhelm a mild dish or flatten a bolder meal. The essential idea is that you want to marry like flavors; milder oils with a softer dish, and bolder more robust oils with larger food flavors.
JB: I admit that I find that whole concept a bit intimidating or I suppose I can think about it as just another chance to grow! What haven't we talked about yet that you'd like to before we wrap this up?
MDT: I would encourage anyone who is curious about olive oils or balsamics - or cooking in general - to stop in and spend some time with us. The fun at Salt & Olive is in the tasting, and the learning. This is a great place to learn about healthy and delicious foods no matter how much experience you have in the kitchen! Also - it's so helpful to us when folks tell us their ideas, and make suggestions about creative products they'd like us to carry.The best part about Salt & Olive, for me, is that I am meeting great people and learning so much. I love our customers! I'm still pinching myself every day. I can't believe how fortunate I am.
JB: Thanks so much for talking with me, Mary. It's been fun. Your passion is contagious; you might make a foodie of me yet!
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Salt & Olive: Voted one of the Boston Globe's Best of the New 2015
1160 Massachusetts Avenue
Cambridge, MA 02138