Finding Hidden Gems On Daytrips

Blue Ridge Olive Oil CompanyI had the most “Bon Appetit Y’all” type of day recently in downtown Blue Ridge, Georgia in the Blue Ridge Mountains. For those of you who may not be familiar, the Blue Ridge Mountains are about a one-and-a-half-hour drive from Atlanta proper. It is an easy and gorgeous day trip getaway. It was a gorgeous day with temps in the low 80’s and people were out and about and enjoying the day. I drove up there with a very good friend who is also a culinarian and has his own catering company so we were in heaven together. LOL. I spent several hours on the main street of Blue Ridge, but there was one little storefront that definitely caught my attention. It was the Blue Ridge Olive Oil Company. This quaint little shop was the hidden gem I had been looking for.

We were greeted upon entering by Jordan! An attractive young man. He asked us if he could help us find anything or if we’d like a little history of the shop. I excitedly say “give me your spill”. All of a sudden you could see the light turn on in his head. This was his lane and it was like his whole personality changed once he started talking about these different olive oil blends and infusions. For Justin to be as young as he was, he definitely caught me off guard with his knowledge of the different oils ad vinegar. The store had an awesome selection of Extra Virgin Oils, Specialty Oils, Infused Oils, Dark Balsamic, and White Balsamic Vinegars.

I was immediately drawn to the white balsamic kinds of vinegar because they seem to be more of a challenge finding these days than dark balsamic vinegar. They had three white balsamic infusions in particular that made me stop in my tracks and they were: Cranberry Pear, Lemon Grass Mint, and Coconut. Jordan gave us tastings of each of the vinegar or oils that we wanted to try and he started combining (oil/vinegar mixologist LOL) some of the blends to create these spectacular aromas and flavors in the oils. He combined the lemon Grass Mint and the Coconut over a little taste of vanilla bean ice cream at it just blew me away.

The Dark Balsamic selections were just as amazing as well. I mean you could totally smell and taste everything that was listed on the label. I could not get out the shop without purchasing the two selections that changed my life which was: Neapolitan Herb Balsamic Vinegar and the Herbes de Provence Infused Olive Oil. You could just smell all of the herbal notes that were in both of these oils/vinegar. I can not wait to marinate a delicious piece of Ribeye with some of my Bon Appetit Y’all Herbalicious seasonings (https://bonappetityallbycarlton.com/shop-your-pantry#seasonings). It’s going to be an issue for sure.

They also had a wonderful selection of really creative salts, like Black Truffle Sea Salt, Habanera Heat Sea Salt, Spanish Rosemary Sea Salt, and a Vintage Merlot Sea Salt. That’s right, at this point you could have knocked me over with a salt shaker.

Folks this place was amazing and if you happen to drive to Main Street Blue Ridge, Pop your head in the door and tell Jordan, Kelly and Lenzy that Chef Carlton Sent you.
Bon Appetit Y’all

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