Monterey’s Tasty Olive Bar has 70 varieties of olive oils and balsamics that you can taste before you buy free! Many of the infused Olive oils are the same olive oil base with different flavorings. The olive oils come from two different hemispheres in Tunisia and Australia, and the balsamics are aged the traditional Solera Method from Modena Italy. Each container tells you the mix of oil and acidity. Although I’m not big of infused flavorings, the ones I tried are rich in flavor. I’m a straight olive oil gal. I like the kind that has a natural nutty flavor to it. My favorite Olive Oil is ‘Koronieki olive oil’ extra virgin from Greece. They do not mix their oils with any other oils like big grocery store chains do. Hold on, I’m not done… You may get dizzy with so many varieties.
Pressed every week are there specialties oils; white and black truffle oil, sesame seed oil, roasted almond oil, seasonal pumpkin seed oil and my favorite for the day; buttersquash seed oil. Which has a really unique roasted taste to it. Now that I have it, what am I going to do with it? The owner said it’s great for roasting vegetables on a BBQ or adding to mash potatoes. They have a sleek 200 ml bottle that they will bottle your favorite on the spot for around 13 bucks. Specialty oils are more and other sizes are available.
As far as the balsamics I liked the ‘Cranberry-Pear White Balsamic Vinegar Condimento’ and the ‘Pomegranate-Quince White Balsamic’ was best. They are open everyday at 10:00am to 8pm and will give you a free taste with bread and education about the oils.
There I was, at my Nana’s side watching her mix up the chocolate cake batter, figuring out my plan of action to lick the bowl and leave my brothers to lick the beater sticks. My selfish nature is to get what I want. After all, I am the middle child. My little brother sits up on a high chair patiently awaiting his turn to get his licks in. ‘Oh gag me, that little twerp got to lick the bowl last time.’ I glance at him with the evil eye, and await my pray on the bowl. Of course, Nana’s the judge on who gets what.
Standing on my toes to see if the batter is done, I devilishly look over at my ‘happy go lucky’ brother as he awaits his cut of the leftover mix. You could see the happy hunger in his eyes. My cocky older brother is watching T.V. as if my Nana’s going to deliver it to him. If he got the bowl it’s only because of the bologna excuse “he’s older.” If my little brother got it, it would be only because he’s “the baby.” An even bigger bologna excuse yet. What about me! I always have to fight for what I want because I’m “THE MIDDLE CHILD!” Devilishly, I look at my little brother, turned my head to smile at my Nana, trying to win her over with my innocent charm.
NANA: “You want to finish mixing babe?”
STACY: “Sure!” my face lit up with joy.
She turned back to see if the oven was hot. I quickly stuck my finger in the bowl and whipped a taste into my mouth. Of course how could I be so stupid, now my little brother wants some and he’ll blow my cover.
STERLING: “Can I have some?”
My Nana turn’s to my little brother.
NANA: “You can lick the bowl when I’m done.” I wanted to burst into tears, I gritted my teeth and gave him a look to kill. He proceeded to reach over into the bowl to get a taste like I did and I pinched his hand, gritting my teeth. He started screaming as if I stabbed him with a knife.
NANA: “Hey, you guys!” she exclaimed. Sterling swung his arm to hit me. I dodged and he nearly fell off his chair. Him nearly falling off gave me this satisfactory smile on my face, where just licking one of the beater sticks was enough this time around.
By Stacy Poulos
1st entry 8-29-93
Draft: 6 8-29-93 Published: Neighborhood Grapevine Vol 3-1 August 1-15 1993 Published in ‘Life In A Nutshell’ 2008