Olive Mix Welcome sign

Have you ever been to an olive oil tasting room?

I first stumbled upon the Chefs Olive Mix last year in Old Sacramento and was delightfully surprised! Their oils and vinegars are so good I’ve been back several times since to get more.
Olive Oil metal dispensers and bottles

Rows upon rows of gleaming pots hold ultra premium oils and balsamic vinegars.

A multitude of extra virgin olive oils from around the world, plain and infused with flavors like basil, chipotle, wild mushroom sage, and blood orange line the counters.

According to owner Lisa Paskaly, their ultra premium oils exceed international standards for olive oil by anywhere from 37-70% . For instance, the international standard for hours from harvest to crush time is 24 hours, her oils have a 2-4 hour harvest to crush time.  The maximum international temperature standard for olive oil production is 89 degrees, whereas Chef’s Olive Mix oils only allow their oils to reach a maximum of 69 degrees. Peroxide and free fatty acid content are among other areas she looks at.

To guarantee the freshness of the oils, stock is pulled regularly, as the oils really only have a 14 month shelf life from the time of harvest. I’m told that the olive oils found in most grocery stores are at least a year old by the time they hit the shelves.

Assorted vinegars

Fresh fruits, spices and herbs are crushed with the olives to produce very fresh and intense flavors.

The dark and light balsamic vinegars also have complex and rich flavors. Some of my favorites are espresso, strawberry, apricot and black mission fig.

So many to try! Luckily they have a list of suggested oil and vinegar pairings at the store, and on their website to guide you. I’m slowly working my way through the list.

If you want to eat more salads and greens, this is a great way to help do it. The oils are so fresh and flavorful, that a half a teaspoon, along with a splash of vinegar is enough for a couple of cups of lettuce greens. My kids willingly eat more salad using these. It does help when they can choose which oil and which vinegar to use. ( I admit, I love these so much I have at least 5 oils and 5 vinegars lined up on my kitchen counter–but so worth it!)

Olive oil sample bottles and tasting cups

Once you enter the store, you’re given a little overview of the products and some suggested pairings.

You just take a little cup and pour in a little of whatever you want to taste.

For the oils, it’s recommended that you hold the cup in the palm of one hand and swirl it to gently warm it up and release the flavors, before tasting it.

Price Sign

Once you decide which flavors you want, you decide what size bottle you want filled.

Washed and completely dried bottles may be brought in and refilled, giving you a discount of 50 cents to $1.00 off, depending on the bottle size.

Premium pour spouts

They sell two different spouts– one is a basic push in one with four small openings ($1-2), and the other is a premium pour spout ($5) as pictured above. The premium spouts are used in the store sampling bottles.

I highly recommend getting the premium pour spout, not only because it looks and feels nice to use, but to keep control over the amount of oil poured out. You only need to use very little to get a lot of flavor. Cost wise, and calorie wise, it helps to use only just enough.

I think the basic spout for the vinegars are fine, but I’m told some people use the gold premium spout for oils and the silver premium spout for vinegars, or vice versa, to distinguish them apart.

Gift sets

If you can’t decide which flavors to get, they have premade sets, which also make good gifts.

Gluten free pastas

I was surprised to see gluten free pastas in gourmet flavors, as most gluten free pasta I’ve seen have been just plain pasta.

Jars of gluten free pasta sauce are also available.

Balsamic Jams and Truffle Salt

More gourmet jams and truffle salt to tempt.

Gift bags

Premium gift bags also available for purchase.

Chefs Olive Mix has an online store, which makes it easy to pick out and send gifts to friends and family far away.

Mother's Day gift set

The Mother’s Day Special is any two (200 ml) bottles (oil or vinegar) and two premium pour spouts in a premium gift bag with tissue.

Regularly $39, special price $34.

Small take out food refrigerator

Don’t forget to check out the little refrigerator near the register filled with take out goodies.

Looks like a lot of people who work nearby come in to buy the Greek salad for their lunch. Eventually Lisa plans to have some outdoor tables, and prepare ceviche and poki for sale.

Greek Salad: $6.95; Hummus and pita chips: $3.95; Hummus (side) $1.75, (small) $4.25, (large) $7.95; Feta (1/2 lb.) $7.50; Italian Olives (Italy) $12.75 ; African stuffed peppers (Greece) $8.50


Take out foods

Here’s what I grabbed from the case on my way out. I love those Italian olives.

Greek Salad, Hummus and pita chips, stuffed African Peppers, Italian Olives, angled view

A colorful lunch!

The girls were happy to find these olives, stuffed peppers, hummus and chips to eat for a snack after school.
Wild Mushroom Sage Olive Oil with deluxe spout

Want to win this?

The Chef’s Olive Mix is kindly giving away one 200ml bottle of Premium Wild Mushroom and Sage Olive Oil and a premium pour spout to one lucky Guava Rose reader.

Click below to enter. Good Luck!

a Rafflecopter giveaway  (Contest is open to US residents. Winner will be notified by email. If prize is not claimed within 48 hours, a new winner will be chosen.)