In 2013, Lititz was voted the America's coolest small town in an online contest by Budget Travel. Lititz has many quaint and interesting stores. One of these stores is located on 41 South Broad Street. Olio Olive Oils and Balsamics is a culinary delight. This family business is owned and operated by Joe and Pete Desimone. Judy Desimone, Joe's wife, also works in the store.
According to Joe, the idea for the store was born in Colorado in 2010 when Pete Desimone was on vacation with his wife Chrissy. They visited a small oil and vinegar shop, and Pete took his idea home and presented it to his father. Joe stated, "I fell in love with the concept." They researched the idea and two years later they found a vacant store in Lititz. The business opened May 18, 2012.
Olio now sells 87 different flavors and varieties of balsamic vinegar and olive oils. Most of the balsamic vinegars are made in Modena, Italy, and Joe states the olive oils are from around the world including Italy, Greece, Spain, Israel, Tunisia and California. Before purchasing, customers can sample these products from large stainless steel tanks to satisfy individual tastes.
The store sells a variety of other products. According to Judy, customers can purchase a variety of honey, some local and some from as far away as Italy and there are 72 varieties of sea salts. Tomato sauces and products, olives, and pastas, everything needed for an Italian dinner is available. You can purchase beautiful pottery, glassware, gift sets and various other items.
When the cook is ready to relax, he or she can use the olive oil based skin products, soaps, creams and shampoos in varying scents.
So Olio is a one-stop shopping for your kitchen pantry, special and everyday recipes or for special gifts.
With my mom Palma's 90th birthday approaching, I bought her a special tomato sauce made with eggplant, pasta and an olive salad; a gourmet meal in itself.
I have also purchased different flavors of balsamic vinegar. I have found I enjoy the pineapple balsamic vinegar on salads, and I have also purchased peach and passion fruit flavors which are also good on salads.
I asked Joe and Judy about their favorite ways to use the products they sell. They both agreed that they use several of the vinegars, oils and spices in their everyday cooking. Joe likes to marinate meats with vinegar, garlic and rosemary and then cook on the grill or pan fry. Meyer lemon olive oil with a pinch of salt is great on vanilla ice cream according to Judy. They also enjoy roasting vegetables that have been sprinkled with olive oil and seasoning in the oven.
Olivio products are sold wholesale in Florida, Oh., to various stores, farm stands and restaurants, including Hotel Hershey, Scooters, Tomato Pie Café and Trattoria Fratelli.
I found a few varieties of balsamic vinegar at Mussers in Lebanon, but the best place to find the greatest variety is in the store.
I have included recipes provided by Olio.
Sweet and Smokey BBQ chicken
Olio suggests serving this with a side of baked beans and fresh corn on the cob for the perfect picnic. The sauce is great on ribs, too.
Recipe makes about a cup of BBQ sauce.
1/2 cup ketchup
1/4 cup Whiskey Smoked Brown Sugar**
1/4 cup water
2 tablespoons Sonoma Smoked live Oil**
2 tablespoons 25 Star from Modena balsamic vinegar**
1 teaspoon spicey brown mustard
1 garlic clove crushed
Salt and Pepper to taste
Place all ingredients in small saucepan om medium high heat and bring to a boil. Lower heat and simmer for 15 to 20 minutes or until sauce thickens and turns a deep red color. Remove frm heat and cool completely. Remove garlic.
Rinse chicken pieces and pat dry. Glaze chicken with a thick layer of BBQ sauce and place on a grill at 375 degrees. Continue to grill until chicken is done.
Inviting the neighbors is optional, however napkins are required.
**Products are available at Olio.
Chicken, Pineapple and Spinach Salad
4 Boneless. skinless chicken breasts, about 5 ounces each
1 tablespoon Olio Extra Virgin olive oil**
1 can unsweetened pineapple chunks, drain and reserve 2 tablespoons juice
2 cups broccoli florets
4 cups fresh baby spinach
1/2 cup thinly sliced red onion
1/2 cup Olio Extra Virgin olive oil
2 tablespoons Olio Pineapple Balsamic vinegar**
2 teaspoons sugar
1/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon
Whisk together the olive oil, vinegar, 2 tablespoons pineapple juice, sugar, and cinnamon in small bowl.
Cut each chicken breast into cubes. In large non-stick frying pan heat the 1 tablesppon olive oil over medium heat. Add chicken and cook until golden brown, about 10 minutes.
In a large serving bowl combine chicken, pineapple chunks, broccoli, onions and spinach.
Pour dressing over salad and serve immediately.
**Products are available at Olio.
Honey Pecan & Goat Cheese Salad
1/2 cup chopped pecans
2 tsp. plus 1 Tbsp. honey, divided
1/3 cup plus 3 Tbsp. Olio's Spanish Blend olive oil, divided**
2 Tbsp. Olio's 25 Star from Modena Balsamic vinegar**
1/2 tsp. salt
1/8 tsp. pepper
1/4 cup all-purpose flour
1 egg, beaten
3/4 cup seasoned bread crumbs
8 oz. fresh goat cheese
4 cups spring mix salad greens
In a shallow microwave-safe dish, combine pecans and 2 tsp. honey. Microwave, uncovered, on high 1 1/2 to 2 minutes or until toasted, stirring twice. Immediately transfer to a waxed paper lined baking sheet to cool.
For dressing, in a small bowl, whisk 1/3 cup olive oil, balsamic vinegar, remaining honey, salt and pepper; set aside.
Place flour, egg and bread crumbs in separate shallow bowls. Shape cheese into eight balls; flatten slightly. Coat cheese with flour, then dip in egg and coat with bread crumbs. Heat remaining olive oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat. Fry cheese 1-2 minutes on each side or until golden brown. Drain on paper towels. Divide salad greens among four plates; top with goat cheese. Drizzle with dressing and sprinkle with honey pecans.