In New York, near Skaneateles Lake, Marcia Cosentino found herself in an olive oil and vinegar shop for the first time.
“It was like walking into a wine barrel,” Cosentino said of the small store.
After tasting the olive oils and balsamic vinegars, Cosentino realized her love for them. “Now every city I go to, I visit the olive oil store,” she said.
An Ohio native and ASU alumni, Cosentino lives in Glendale just a few miles from her own olive oil and balsamic vinegar store called Artisan Olive. It opened in April.
Artisan Olive is long and narrow, like “a bowling alley,” Cosentino joked. Lined up against the dark walls are fustis, stainless steel containers with lever spigots, that contain a variety of flavors of olive oil and balsamic vinegar supplied by Veronica Foods Company in California. Above the fustis are photos that depict the olive oil and balsamic vinegar production process. Italian music softens the air.
“I wanted something rustic,” Cosentino said. “I wanted it to be a space where people were comfortable.”
Cosentino carries three types of olive oils and more than 60 flavors. The single varietals are the plain extra virgin olive oils (EVOOs) from Australia, Chile, Portugal and Italy. These EVOOs are used to create the fused and infused varieties. The fused olive oils are made by crushing the fruit, herb and/or vegetable component with the olives during the olive-making process. These include the green chili olive oil, a personal favorite of Cosentino’s. Infused olive oils are made by soaking the flavor element in the oil after the oil has already been made. Of these is the butter olive oil, which Cosentino said is to put on popcorn.
“Olive oil is fresh and tastes great,” she said. “Once you taste real olive oil, you’re willing to drive a couple miles to get it and not buy what’s in the grocery stores.” Other flavors include garlic, basil, blood orange and chipotle.
Cosentino carries 12 white and 12 dark vinegars. All the vinegars are from Modena, Italy, making them authentic balsamics, Cosentino said. The vinegars can be used for salad dressings, meat marinades and even in water.
“I’ve had mothers buy it and put it in their children’s bottles,” Cosentino said. “A little bit of strawberry or raspberry vinegar in the water can make it more palatable for children.” Other flavors include coconut, lime, espresso and dark chocolate.
Cosentino offers a 200-milliliter bottle for $12, a 375-milliliter bottle for $16 and a 750-milliliter bottle for $30.
Cosentino recommends mixing olive oils and balsamic vinegars. Her favorite pairing is green chili olive oil and mango balsamic vinegar. The mildly sweet mango vinegar tones down the sharpness of the green chili olive oil, making the perfect pairing of sweet and spicy.
Cosentino is passionate about cooking with olive oils and balsamic vinegars. She welcomes conversations about recipes that use her products to their full potential, and she hopes to inspire people to make olive oil and balsamic vinegar a bigger part of their diet. Cosentino offers samples to customers, who can dip pieces of bread in the oils and vinegars. She prefers guests sip it right out of the sample cup.
A Navy veteran and mother of three veterans, Cosentino offers a 10% discount to veterans, military personnel and first responders.