Pressing olives can lead to heart health, leaner muscles, and, with continued use, the need for larger olives to hang on the barbell. Dip the way to a healthy lifestyle with today's Groupon: for $10, you get $20 worth of extra-virgin olive oils and balsamic vinegars at The Olive Branch, redeemable at its Granger and Goshen locations
The Olive Branch lubricates northern Indiana kitchens with more than 30 extra-virgin olive oils from all over the world to ensure the freshest product year-round. The European-style emporium's stocks include the Athenolia, a rare Grecian olive oil, that like Kermit the Frog, is pale green in color with a unique flavor and texture ($15). A more exotic selection, the blood orange oil is produced by simultaneously crushing Tunisia Mediterranean blood oranges and buttery chemlali olives, creating a great rub for shrimp, scallops, salmon, and chicken when teamed with garlic and peppercorns ($15).
Straight from the grapes of Modena, Italy, The Olive Branch also proffers balsamic vinegars that have aged 12–18 years. Balsamic vinegar's syrupy texture and strong flavor works wonderfully as a meat tenderizer, salad dressing, or sweet-smelling self-tanning lotion. The traditional 18-year balsamic vinegar is a classic Italian product aged in various wood barrels and rich in fruit flavors ($16), and the blackberry-ginger balsamic vinegar is sweet and fruity with a hint of ginger and can be used in salads, seafood, chicken, pork, and desserts ($17).
The Olive Branch allows visitors to taste each of its oils and vinegars in the store before purchase, using fresh bread cubes as goodness sponges to be devoured and compared against one another, or as yeasty petri dishes for extra-virgin experimentation. For ideas beyond sampling or outright chugging, the company's website provides a list of suggested recipes using olive oils and balsamic vinegars, including caprese salad, cilantro-lime dressing, and citrus chicken salad.
The Olive Branch
Northern Indiana may seem an unexpected destination for cold-pressed Spanish olive oils and 18-year-old Italian balsamic vinegars, but the owners of The Olive Branch are working to change that. At each of their boutiques, they line the shelves with extra-virgin olive oils from famous olive-producing regions, such as Italy, Tunisia, and California. They champion these first-press, extra-virgin oils for their reported health benefits, deeper dimensions of flavor, and ability to make any icy walkway that much more comical.
Besides the oils, they stock an international selection of balsamic vinegars, ranging from traditional varieties to blends infused with ingredients such as blackberries, dark chocolate, and pomegranate. The staff invites visitors to sample anything in the store, dispensing samples of both the oils and vinegars from stainless-steel fustis.
The Olive Branch's team members further expand guests' palates and kitchens with premium items such as Wind & Willow dessert and cheese-ball mixes and a selection of cruets and kitchenware. They can even compile these into gift baskets to celebrate special occasions such as holidays, birthdays, or the end of a Rocky film marathon.