Forty fresh extra-virgin olive oils and balsamic vinegars are offered at The Olive Tap, which opened recently in Crystal Lake.
“Our exclusive olive oils and vinegars are sourced from around the world,” said Bob Sherry, who owns the store with his wife, Lori. “We pride ourselves on the uniqueness of our products and the distinct flavor profiles that each individual olive oil and vinegar brings."
Lori said they decided to open the store after visiting a similar establishment in Door County, Wis., two years ago while on vacation.
Products and flavors include Garlic, Lemon and Tuscan Herb Olive Oil and the Raspberry, Tangerine, Fig and Chocolate-flavored Aceto Balsamico di Modena.
The olive oils and vinegars offered at The Olive Tap – an Extra Virgin Olive Oil and Balsamic Vinegar Tasting Emporium – are stored in specialized stainless steel tanks which protect the oils from degradation by heat, light, and air.
A spigot at the bottom of the tank allows visitors to dispense a small portion of oil or vinegar into a soufflé cup for tasting. They can even be mixed in the same cup to determine how well they work together.
After customers make a selection, corking and sealing of the bottles is done right in front of the customer. “What you taste is what you get in the bottle,” Lori said.
The shop also carries many culinary accessories such as misters, seasonings, pourers, dipping plates, and specialty food items. Unique gift sets and gift certificates are available year round.
The Olive Tap will host a grand opening celebration from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Oct. 20 and 21. During the two-day event, visitors will receive 10 percent off all oils and vinegars and there will be raffle prizes throughout the day.
The Olive Tap:
What: An extra virgin olive oil and balsamic vinegar tasting emporium
Where: 68 N. Williams St., Crystal Lake
When: Store hours are 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Tuesday through Saturday, and 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. Sunday.
Information: Call 815-459-OILS (6457)
Healthy olive oil:
According to the Mayo Clinic's Dr. Donald Hensrud, The main type of fat found in all kinds of olive oil is monounsaturated fatty acids. MUFAs are actually considered a healthy dietary fat. If your diet emphasizes unsaturated fats, such as MUFAs and polyunsaturated fats, instead of saturated fats and trans fats, you may gain certain health benefits.
On the Mayo Clinic website, www.mayoclinic.com, Hensrud writes, "MUFAs and PUFAs may help lower your risk of heart disease by improving related risk factors. For instance, MUFAs may lower your total cholesterol and low-density lipoprotein cholesterol levels. MUFAs may also help normalize blood clotting. And some research shows that MUFAs may also benefit insulin levels and blood sugar control, which can be especially helpful if you have type 2 diabetes."