Tucson Olive Central: A Downtown Place For All Seasonings

May 9, 2014

There's a whole lot of different product available for sampling!

There’s a whole lot of different product available for sampling!

by James J. Jefferies

In every kitchen, there are a few basics that are absolutely necessary for anyone attempting a culinary adventure. Flour. Milk. Butter. Eggs. A standard platoon of seasonings. And anymore, given the popularity of certain nameless celebrity chefs, one should probably add extra-virgin olive oil to the list.

Quick n’ easy snark aside, olive oil is a tremendously versatile commodity, as either a cooking medium, or as an accompaniment which can add flavor to so many dishes, be it the usual pastas and salads, or providing a delicious companion for a warm loaf of sliced French bread with some herbs tossed into the oil for added love.

True story: I once went into a large Italian chain restaurant (the other one, not the one with the breadstick fixation) and the waitress there referred to the olive oil accompanying the bread as ‘Italian butter’. This is still among the worst things I’ve ever heard uttered aloud.

It's a slippery slope with so many choices of oils!

It’s a slippery slope with so many choices of oils!

Today marks the grand opening of Tucson Olive Central, a brand-new retail establishment at 222 E. Congress. It’s a franchise of Tubac Olive Oil company, and according to owner Marco Ramos, “We’re one of 17 stores nationwide.” Tucson Olive Central will feature an enormous (more than 80!) variety of olive oils, balsamic vinegars, seasonings, pastas, honeys, rubs, and an eclectic variety of other items such as prickly pear candy.

Tucson Olive Central will be offering a special their first week of operation, buy any two balsamic vinegars or olive oils, and you will get one free! They have a nicely rustic, kitchen-like atmosphere, and a layout that provides ample stations for customers to sample the product with small pieces of bread. It’s a delightful taste of the Mediterranean and a welcome addition to a Downtown retail landscape that seems to be adding new and exciting options for residents and visitors alike every week. For more information, please check out their supplier’s website here.