I would like to draw your attention to two food- and restaurant-related stories in today’s paper, in case you have not seen them.
The first is today’s Front Burner column about Oliveto, a fairly new shop in Southwest Roanoke County that sells high-quality olive oils and balsamic vinegars.
I learned a lot while researching the olive oil industry for this story. I wish I could say it’s good news, but the corruption within the trade is so bad that I wonder about the makeup of many grocery store olive oils. Unfortunately, with no U.S. standards for labeling of olive oils, we really have no way of telling the purity of the contents of those bottles. So Oliveto is a nice place to shop for olive oils with proven origins and quality. More than that, it is simply a fun outing for any foodie; the chance to taste different oils and vinegars, especially some with really unique flavor infusions, is a treat.
To read more about the olive oil trade, check out this 2007 article in The New Yorker, “Slippery Business” by Tom Mueller. Mueller recently came out with a book about this topic called “Extra Virginity: The Sublime and Scandalous World of Olive Oil.” Read a Q&A with him about this book, also in The New Yorker, by clicking here.
Another interesting source of olive oil news and information is The Olive Oil Times, which is online here.
What do you think about this topic? Do you care if your olive oil is being cut with cheaper oils, so long as they are not harmful oils? Would you pay extra for the knowledge that the oil you’re buying came from a reputable source?
Also in the paper today is a report about an upcoming foreclosure auction of two buildings on Memorial Avenue in Grandin Village, as well as a parking lot. This property houses Norberto’s Italian Ristorante and The Isaacs Mediterranean Restaurant. Both restaurants are under new ownership, and the owners are hoping whoever buys this real estate will let them stay.
The story behind the foreclosure is a complicated and convoluted one. To read more about it, click here.