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Monadnock Oil and Vinegar Company opens in Peterborough

Thursday, January 30, 2014

PETERBOROUGH – The Monadnock Oil and Vinegar Company opened its doors at 43 Grove St., Peterborough, just in time for the Christmas season.

The unique tasting and showroom resides next to Ava Marie’s Handmade Chocolates & Ice Cream and The Social Grove Caterer, Bakery and Cafe, offering a gourmet destination to chefs and food lovers in the area.

While nutritionists have long touted the health benefits of true extra virgin olive oil in lowering cholesterol and controlling insulin levels, most consumers assume all olive oil is the same. In fact, 69 percent of olive oils sold through commercial outlets are not extra virgin, though the labeling claims they are. Olive oil is loosely regulated in the U.S. and the true health benefits are greatly diminished through inferior oil that includes artificial coloring.

Only the first press of olives can be termed “extra virgin.” The olives are picked slightly under-ripe and must be pressed within six hours of being harvested. Infused oils, such as the blood orange or mushroom and sage flavors offered by Monadnock Oil and Vinegar, can not be labeled extra virgin because they are altered. Yet, these products begin with extra virgin oil, so they contain all the nutritional value of the unflavored oil.

Olive oil is high in vitamin E and beta-carotene. Other known benefits include anti-inflammatory
properties, improved cognitive and memory function and digestive health.

Balsamic vinegar falls into the same trap of consumer ignorance. A look at the label of the jar on a grocery store shelf may reveal caramel and sugar have been added. True balsamic is made from the unfermented juice of the white Trebbiano grapes in northern Italy. It’s an excellent source of calcium, iron, magnesium and potassium.

The owners

Owners Korey Snow and Kim Homoleski have been working on the idea for the past three years and offer a wealth of knowledge on the origins and health benefits of their products.

Homoleski and Snow were raised in Hollis and now reside in New Ipswich, where they have a huge garden, the contents of which fill 400-500 canning jars and two massive freezers of produce for their own consumption each year. They are also avid beekeepers and members of the Monadnock Beekeepers Association. They hope to supply the store with their own honey, as well as Homoleski’s pickles in the coming months.

Snow grew up on a dairy farm and puts his woodworking talents to work at the shop. All of the counters in the store, including the front desk, were made by hand from reclaimed and recycled lumber. A new project for Snow is the making of wooden crates used as gift baskets for the oils, vinegars and other products in the store.

The products

The store offers more than 20 varieties of extra virgin olive oil and that number is growing. From the exotic Gremolata, to the zesty garlic or chipotle, and sweet temptations such as blood orange, these oils are versatile.

The balsamic line-up includes more than 15 infused products in both white and dark including dark chocolate, cranberry pear and fig flavors.

Homoleski has added several foods to compliment the products. Pastas, sauces and bruschettas line one of the walls and recipe suggestions are available. In addition to the retail offerings, there are plans to host events introducing patrons to recipes and cooking demonstrations, as well as food pairings.

Hours for the store in the winter season are Monday and Wednesday through Saturday from 10 a.m.-6 p.m. and Tuesdays from 10 a.m.-5 p.m.

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