Holiday party season is just around the corner, and this week only, we’re lending a hand with the holiday prep – our gourmet olive bar is just $7.99 a pound! That’s right, this week only you can head into any one of our stores and get $3.00 off anything from our olive bar, and we mean everything. From olives to pickles to gourmet mushrooms, we’ve got a truly impressive array of snacks to choose from; unfortunately, that same range can make people a little hesitant to dive straight into the brine with the rest of us. To be fair, there’s a big leap between the standard canned black olives and the gourmet fair we offer in our olive bar; not to worry though, we’ve put together a handy little guide just for you!
Lou Pistou Mix
Lou Pistou may sound like a fun name for a comic book villain, but it’s actually completely delicious. A mix of French olives combine with garlic, herbs, pearl onions, and cornichon pickles to create fantastically flavorful snack perfect for a party.
Pairs With: Try the Lous Pistou mix with a swiss-style cheese like Emmental or Gruyere and a rich white wine like Chardonnay or Viogner.
These pickles may be cute, but they pack a serious punch of flavor! Gherkin cucumbers get the royal treatment with vinegar and spices, leaving them tart, crisp, and perfect for snacking on.
Pairs With: The intense tartness of cornichons contrasts nicely with smoked or cured meats. For drinks, considering pairing these tasty pickles with a light lager or pilsner beer so bring out the funky, fermented qualities.
Originating in South Africa, these pickled Piquante peppers are a relatively new addition to the American appetizer spread. However, their sweet flavor has made them a true hit, and their size and shape makes them perfect for stuffing!
Pairs With: These peppers are best done simply, try them stuffed with tart feta or creamy chevre cheese for an easy appetizer. For wine, pair them with a Sauvignon Blanc or a Pinot Grigio.
Feta Stuffed Olives
Save yourself the trouble with these feta-stuffed olives just bursting with flavor. The creamy tartness of the cheese contrast perfectly with the briny flavor of the olives for the ultimate bite.
Pairs With: Snack on these bad boys with a glass of dry Rose or even a dry Riesling wine, or ditch the wine and toss them in a gin cocktail for a classic combination. These olives are also great with a little marinated garlic.
Dry Cured Olive with Herbs de Provence
These may be black olives, but they’re not the black olives you’re used to! While most olives are brined to remove their bitter flavor, these olives are rubbed with salt to cure them before they’re soaked in olive oil. This process imparts an intense meatiness to the flavor and a buttery texture, making them perfect for snacking on whole or adding to dips and sauces. For any easy appetizer that’s sure to impress, try this recipe for Mixed Olive Tapenade!
Pairs With: Try these olives with sharply flavored, aged cheddar or even an aged gouda; the big flavors and richness of the cheese will pair beautifully with the salty meatiness of the olives. Wash the whole thing down with a glass of a bold red wine like Cabernet Sauvignon or Malbec.
These olives may be tiny, but they carry some big flavor! Nicoise olives are first brined and then soaked in olive oil, softening them to luscious perfection; the flavor is very slightly bitter and contains notes of anise.
Pairs With: Nicoise olives are delicious with the traditional pairing of tuna fish, but for all the vegetarians out there, we also like them with either Harvati or Gruyere cheese. Pair them with a glass of off-dry Rose wine for the perfect bite.
A classic of the olive world, these Greek olives are probably mostly known for their use in Greek salads even though they’re DELICIOUS on their own. Kalamatas are preserved in a mix of red wine vinegar and olive oil, giving them a salty and pungeant true olive flavor. We offer them with or without pits.
Pairs With: The classic pairing is with Feta cheese, but these olives are also brilliant with cooked tomatoes in a sauce or fresh in the typical Greek salad. For wine, go towards a middling red like a Zinfandel or a Merlot.
These have a flavor that’s even more impressive than their name, and their name is pretty impressive. Noted for their divinely buttery texture and flavor, Castelvetrano olives are a cut above even other gourmet olives; store them with their pits in to ensure their flavor lasts as long as you can keep them.
Pairs With: The surprisingly mild flavor of the Castelvetrano olives lends itself to more mild cheeses – we enjoy them with a creamy Fontinella or fresh goat’s cheese. For beverages, try them with a Gruner, a Sauvignon Blanc, or even a Belgian-style Saison beer.
These brined French olives tend to range from mild to tart, and their texture is almost crunchy. Picholines stand up well to cooking and would be a beautifully briny addition to various soups and stews – we’re particularly fond of them in this recipe for Italian Chicken and Olive Stew.
Pairs With: The tart, bright flavors of Picholine olives beautifully compliment the hearty flavors of roasted and braised meats, particularly those heavy in garlic. Try them with an off-dry Rose wine to bring out the more subtle notes of sweetness.
Green Olives with Herbs de Provence
These young olives are cured in brine and herbs to create an intensely flavorful olive with a firm-yet-buttery texture. These olives are fantastic just for snacking or as an appetizer, but we particularly like them as a garnish for a gin or vodka martini! We offer them with or without pits.
Pairs With: Green olives are a classic addition to any cheeseboard, and to that end, we like them with cured meats, pickled onions, and fresh cheeses. Serve a Sauvignon Blanc wine as an accompaniment for the perfect bite.
Grilled Wild Mushroom Salad
Our grilled mushroom medley is a truly magical addition to any cheeseboard or appetizer spread! These funky fungi get a little heat treatment and then head straight into a bath of vinegar, oil, and a blend of spices; their deep, earthy flavors are brilliant warm or cold.
Pairs With: A funky aged Brie or even a mellow Blue Cheese really brings out the earthiness of these mushrooms and the intense umami flavors of each. These mushrooms also crave a red wine like a Zinfandel or a Pinot Noir, though you can go with a slightly funky beer such as a Pilsner or a Kolsch instead.
Okra have a slightly controversial reputation thanks to their slimy interiors, but we promise you’ll find no slime here. These okras have been pickled in vinegar, herbs, and spices, making them tart and crunchy instead of weird and slimy. Snack on them whole, or use them instead of fresh okra for a twist on traditional gumbo.
Pairs With: Pickled okra are a traditional ingredient in any good Bloody Mary cocktail, but they’re also great with braised or cured meats. Work them into a cheeseboard with a nutty Gruyere or Gouda cheese.
Perhaps unsurprisingly, caperberries are the berry of the caper plant; unlike capers, which are the pickled buds of the same plant, caperberries are actually the mature fruits. They have a milder caper flavor than the buds and are often used interchangeably with olives for recipes.
Pairs With: Caperberries are best paired with other strong flavors and are fantastic cooked – add them to braised and roasted dishes for a pop of briny flavor, or serve them cold with smoked and cured meats. They also make a great addition to Gin and Vodka cocktails, or really any cocktail where you would ordinarily use olives.
And even with all these gourmet snacks, we’ve STILL only scratched the surface of the gourmet olive bar! Come in this week only and try all these and more for just $7.99 a pound; that’s right, “olive” it!