Abingdon Olive Oil Company, Abingdon, VA

152 E. Main St.
Abingdon, VA 24210

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Abingdon Oilve Oil Company

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276 525 1524
Mon - Sat 11am - 6pm Sunday 2pm - 6pm

by Danielle Bussone

After reading the book, Extra Virginity: The Sublime and Scandalous World of Olive Oil, which exposes the seedy underbelly of the olive oil industry, I sought out Veronica Foods in California to learn where I can buy their products. This company was specifically mentioned in the book as a reputable purveyor of excellent quality olive oil. To my complete surprise they have a retailer three blocks from my house in Abingdon, VA!

Since my first visit to Abingdon Olive Oil I have visited numerous retailers and have found the experience at all the others lagging far behind what you will experience here. You will be met at the door by the owner, K.C. St. Louis or her culinary expert, Penny Arrington, or by Ashley Johnson or Lori Price, two of Abingdon Olive Oil’s full-time knowledgeable sales persons. You will be received like a special guest invited into a lovely home.

In the front parlor you will be introduced to the newest oils from California, Spain and Portugal. These regional oils will change over the months as Veronica Foods brings in the freshest oils from around the world and as the picking season varies from region to region. These oils are currently $17.99 for a 375 ml bottle.  You will be educated on the region, the amount of polyphenols in each of the oils and the type of olives used. You are free to sample anything in the store. The specialty and gourmet oils are also found in this area, the decadent truffle oil ($33) , the richest and most flavorful sesame seed oil I’ve ever tasted ($23), and the sensuous walnut oil, ($23).

Which brings us to the tasting room where you can mix as many combinations as you like at no charge. In this room is a large table set up with a variety of oils and vinegars paired to bring out the best flavors of both. There is a bowl of fresh bread available to use for dipping. Here you will also find specialty oils infused with a variety of flavors such as an organic Tuscan herb blend, lemon, blood-orange, Persian lime, Chipotle, and others. The one which saved my baking when I became vegan is the organic vegan butter infused olive oil, which is made from organic food plants, such as celery, whose flavors have been extracted and combined to produce a flavor which closely mimics butter. It is then infused into the olive oil. I use it to make scones, buttery pie crusts, biscotti, tarts and other decadent desserts. At $18.99 a pop for a 375 ml bottle (roughly 12.6 oz), I don’t do it often but I’ve found nothing does the job so well of replacing butter in baking.

The final leg of your experience will be the balsamic vinegar room. Unlike oils, these only become better with age so you can stock up to your heart’s content. The most expensive at $26.99 is the Traditional 18-year Aged Balsamic Condimento. I consider this a must-have in my pantry. Others are cinnamon-pear, blackberry-ginger, black cherry, dark chocolate, cranberry-pear, fig, ripe peach and many more. I love the coconut paired with the Persian lime oil. They are wonderful for creating great fruit and grain salads with a Caribbean or Peruvian twist. All of these delicious vinegars are $18.99 each.

Throughout the shop, which is located on Main Street in an old Victorian style house, you will find some of Penney’s art work for sale on the walls and lots of gorgeous pottery created by Debbie Grim, a legendary local artist, as well as herbs, handmade baskets, chopping boards and other items of interest.

You are likely to run into Rich and me there, with our monster, Phoenix, tied to a porch rail outside patiently waiting for us to return with our bags of booty. If you do, be sure to say hello.

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