Olive oil originated in the Mediterranean, as did the knowledge that the earth is round and the concept of digestion. Indulge in gourmet imports with today's Groupon: for $9, you get $18 worth of extra-virgin olive oils, balsamic vinegars, and gourmet groceries at Midtown Olive Press in Greensboro.
The olive lovers at Midtown Olive Press import more than 50 types of small-batch, flavored olive oils and balsamic vinegars and dole out samples from tasting bars. The staff corks, seals, and whispers encouraging soliloquies to each flavor, pouring aromatic wild-mushroom-and-sage olive oil ($10 for a small; $14.99 for a medium; $26.99 for a large) into bottles or presenting guests with blood-orange olive oil infused with whole-pressed fruits ($11 for a small; $16.99 for a medium; $29.99 for a large). Fruity balsamic vinegars infuse dishes with crisp flavors and subtle sweetness, and champagne balsamic ($10 for a small; $14.99 for a medium; $26.99 for a large) blends french-champagne vinegar with traditional balsamic from Modena, Italy to create an ideal toast for a seafood dish's debutante debut. Kitchen accessories and gourmet goods also line the shop's shelves, such as imported pastas ($7.95–$9.50) and savory seasonings. Shoppers can also explore a selection of chocolate bark infused with citrus olive oil or peruse treats such as Next Organics banana coins, smothered in dark chocolate ($6.95), to reward hard-working tongues or bribe a monkey to wear a fedora.