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Thursday, January 19, 2012

The Ancient Olive, Winter Park, Florida

"If you pour oil and vinegar into the same vessel, you would call them not friends but opponents."

Hello my friend!  Let's make this a great one.  Like most things revolving around your life, it begins with you.  Set aside any negativity and simply allow it to dissolve away.

The Ancient Olive, Winter Park, Florida store front.

"Oh boy!"  Do Chucky and Tiffany have a very special store to share with you!  Jeffrey and Bryan who operate The Spice & Tea Exchange in Winter Park have opened up an entirely different store almost directly across the street (Park Avenue).  Hmm... perhaps my use of "entirely different" is a poor use of words.  After all, each store in its' own right is nothing short of spectacular!  The new store is called "The Ancient Olive" - An Olive Oil & Balsamic Vinegar Tasting Bar.

The Ancient Olive in Winter Park has only been open for a few months.  Tiffany & I were lucky enough to stumble upon it when it first opened its doors.  Just what we lacked and needed in the Orlando, Florida area.  A store exclusive to exquisitely infused (and non-infused) balsamic vinegars and olive oils.  If I had to guesstimate, I would venture they have between 30- to 40- varieties of each.  And even better news... the selections change periodically.  Ne'er the same visit to be had twice.

A view of the vinegar selections.

Each time we have visited it's been like visiting for the very first time all over again!  I slobber and drool my way around Jeffrey and Bryan's store.  I can hardly remember the vinegar / oil combinations that I have sampled.  Our very first purchase?  As strange as the blend sounds, it's incredible on a salad.  How does Expresso infused vinegar combined with Peruvian Lime infused olive oil sound to you?

Basically, the store is packed full with food quality stainless steel urns filled with fresh vinegars and olive oils.  Each urn is clearly labeled as to the contents.  There are small sampling cups throughout the store allowing you to taste before buying.  Once you've made your selection(s), you simply tell an employee and they will fill one of two bottle sizes.  They cork your selection, cover it with a seal, and use a heat gun to shrink wrap your bottle.

A  view of the olive oil selections.

Before you leave, you are encouraged to return with a clean empty bottle to have it refilled.  You'll save a little money by returning with your empties.  Their products made some outstanding Christmas gifts for our family.  What a perfect and unique gift for a culinary friend or family member.

Just this past weekend we were in need of some refills when Bryan turned us onto an incredible sampling.  What about Coconut infused vinegar combined with Peruvian Line infused olive oil?  Trust me... this combination kicks butt!

Our purchase this day?
(L to R) Frantoio extra virgin olive oil,
Serrano Honey specialty vinegar,
and Coconut white balsamic vinegar.

The Frantoio is a very young and rather strong first-pressing from Californian olives.  Bryan and Jeffrey said that it's only a few weeks old and when it's gone, it's gone.  Delicious!  Somewhat "green" and slightly bitter in taste.  Unlike the conventional olive oil it tastes of olive, leaves and tree itself.  An amazingly delectable taste.

Serrano Honey vinegar?  A perfect yin and yang of hot and sweet tastes.  Both Tiffany and I love our hot and spicy dishes and this bottle should fit right in.

Coconut white balsamic vinegar?  Packed full of coconut taste with an embedded sweetness.  I envision using this in tofu dishes and in salads.  Who doesn't like coconut?  Especially in a form that is not packed with saturated fat as holds true with the real thing.

Do yourself a favor.   If you are ever in the Winter Park, Florida area you must drop by and visit this culinary mecca of exquisite vinegars and olive oils.  You will NOT be disappointed!  Say hello to Jeffrey and Bryan and tell them, "Chucky and Tiffany sent me." 

You are going to get an incredible selection to chose from, a deliciously fresh product, a fair price, and you will be keeping your hard earned dollars local.  Don't hesitate to ask questions or solicit advice.  Everyone working at The Ancient Olive is truly friendly, helpful and wish to make your visit a wonderful experience.  We do so look forward to our regular The Spice & Tea Exchange and The Ancient Olive visits.  "See you there!"

Hi-dee hi-dee a-little-quality-ingredients-goes-a-mighty-long-way-ho my friend.


  1. This store is amazing and provides the most clever gifts you could get for any occasion. We ended up building a dinner party around these amazing products and included spices from their spice and tea exchange too. Love it!

    1. Yes. It's certainly unique for the Orlando area. Tiffany and I genuinely look forward to and enjoy each visit to both Ancient Olive and The Spice and Tea Exchange across the street (Park Avenue).

      Since Ancient Olive has opened, our meals have never tasted better! Besides the wonderful merchandise; Jeffrey, Bryan & staff make each visit as if we are returning home. We'll see you there Anonymous!