While staying at Wine Country RV, we learned that Paso de Robles, California, with a population 30,000,  has over 200 wineries and tasting rooms...which is a plus if you happen to drink alcohol.  We don't, but we still wanted to attend a tasting of some sort.  Olive and Olive Oil tasting at "We Olive" came to the rescue! 

Growing up, all I knew about Olive Oil was that she was Popeye's girlfriend, but Robin at "We Olive" gave me an education about everything I didn't know about Olive Oil, balsamic vinegars, topenades and pestos. 

There's an actual bar where all the different flavors of olive oil and vinegars are lined up.  Containers of bread, crackers and little spoons are located there, and by each of the different areas, including the pesto bar, topenade bar, jam bar etc.   (My favorite in the jam bar was the Peach Chipotle!)  Here you can see my husband, Bob, filming Robin for RVDream.com as she tells us all about olive oils.  You can also see Nicole, who also filled us in on what we wanted to know about the store.  Check out RVDream.com to hear and see what she had to say!  They both made us feel welcome and were great tour guides and answered even our silliest questions.

At the Olive bar, we tasted a Castelvetrano olive for the first time. The color is a vivid bright green and has  a buttery taste and texture of a black olive but a subtle briney taste similar to a green olive.  It's delicious and the texture is a surprise to bite into.  The olives in the bar rotate often.  You can taste, and then get a container of your favorites to take home with you.  Choose all one kind or mix it up a little.

This area reminds me of olive oil on draft!  Buy a bottle here or bring your own from home and fill it up. This way you know you're getting only the freshest oils.  RVer's usually bring a small bottle because we're always trying to conserve space, but you just come back often to fill up while keeping your oil the freshest.

Robin and Nicole said they bake with olive oil.  Using the Meyer Lemon infused Olive Oil they made lemon poppy seed muffins even more delicious.  They have an oven there and experiment making different baked goods using a variety of different infused oils.  Sound like fun, doesn't it?

There are over 100 different flavors and varieties of olive oil in the store.  Plus, Robin has been experimenting with mixing different oils and balsamic vinegars together to come up with entirely new  tastes.  Like a savvy bartender, she mixed up a couple shots for me and I happily dipped away.  Absolutely delicious. 

Did you know that Olive trees can live up to 2,000 years?  In the Bible, Noah sent his dove from the Ark in hopes of finding land. The dove returned with an olive branch.  In those days, many villages were settled near an establishment of an olive grove because it meant a consistent and plentiful source of food and wealth.  Olives have even been found in the ancient tombs of the Egyptian Pharohs.

Beauty products!
The shelf life for olive oil is about two years, after that, it tends to break down...but the oil is not tossed away, companies take it and turn it into beauty products.   Now,  you'd think putting olive oil on your hands would make them, you know...oily.  Yeah, it starts that way and Robin could see the horror on my face initially when I was wondering what I got myself into, but within seconds, the olive oil absorbs into your skin and the softness begins.   I say begins, because by the time I woke up the next morning, my hands were the softest I've ever felt.

Here's a tip.   If you want your eye makeup to come off quick and easy, try using a bit of olive oil on your cotton ball.  Plus, knowing what I know now, I bet that the oil also helps with keeping your eye area soft and supple.  "We Olive"  carries a large number of beauty products as well as gifts that are all olive oriented.  The serving bowls made out of olive tree wood were spectacular.

The other point Robin made was that olive oil is good for your heart.   Olive oil  keeps your cholesterol levels healthy. Extra virgin olive oil contains polyphenols that can reduce inflammation and may help to prevent some forms of cancer.   February, by the way, is heart healthy month and "We Olive" is celebrating by donating 10% of its sales of Extra Virgin Olive Oil to the American Heart Association.

To make transitioning from using butter or margarine to olive oil easier, here is a great conversion table. Print it and keep it in your kitchen for easy referencing!

Butter or Margarine to Olive Oil:

1 teaspoon = 3/4 teaspoon
1 tablespoon = 2 1/4 teaspoon
2 tablespoons = 1 1/2 tablespoons
1/4 cup = 3 tablespoons
1/3 cup = 1/4 cup
1/2 cup = 1/4 cup + 2 tablespoons
2/3 cup = 1/2 cup
3/4 cup = 1/2 cup + 1 tablespoon
1 cup = 3/4 cup
That's it for today, but there are so many things to do in Paso, we'll be here for a while and I'll keep you posted on RVDream.com!

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