Olive Amelia

With a wide variety of the finest olive oils and balsamic vinegars, Oliva Amelia will create the perfect pairing to excite your palate, elevate your meals, and improve your health.

Olive juice! Did you know that if you mouth these words to somebody, it looks like you’re saying I love you? Did you know olives are fruits? And that the sciences of making, tasting, and pairing wine and olive oil are similar? It’s all true!

Olive Amelia is why olives have been on my mind. Why had I walked by this Centre Street shop and not ventured inside? To be fair, I had been satisfied with plain olive oil and balsamic vinegars. Were my plain ingredients diluted? Maybe. Did I need better quality and more pure ingredients? Maybe.

I had heard that some local chefs sourced their olive oils at Olive Amelia and I feared I was missing something special. I was. My mind was hungry for all the new tastes and ideas that store manager Laura Clem showed me in this gourmet grocery.

Along one wall are more than twenty vats, or fustis, of extra-virgin olive oil (EVOO), plain and with glorious world flavors. Mid-store is a Hot Bar of spicy oils: Cayenne, Gochujang, Chipotle, Harissa, and Jalapeno. Oleologist Laura ashe finest sures me that each EVOO is 100 percent free of artificial ingredients, sugars, and sulfites, and each has plenty of biophenols, the health component of EVOO that makes the Mediterranean diet so healing.

Three oils stand out: Japanese Dark Toasted Sesame Oil is slow-roasted and pressed into small batches, making it one of the most flavorful, fragrant oils in the world. Roasted Walnut Oil is Californian and made according to 150-year-old traditional methods. Finally, the finest and priciest oil in the store is White Truffle EVOO, a delicate finishing flavor for elevating any occasion.

On the opposing wall are more than 30 fustis of balsamic vinegar. The youngest is aged 12 years, while the traditional, most aged, and most popular is aged more than 18 years. Laura tells of an Italian visitor who declared Olive Amelia’s traditional balsamic vinegar was comparable in quality and purity to balsamic vinegars in Italy which are aged for 30 years.

A shop specialist is always ready to assist by preparing EVOO or vinegar samples for you, or ideally, pairings. The shop has a pairing guide that highlights some favorites. Milanese Gremolata Olive Oil tastes just right with Grapefruit Balsamic Vinegar, and Wild Dill Olive Oil lights up in the presence of Pomegranate Balsamic Vinegar. The earthy-sweet tang of December’s monthly pairing of Navel Orange Olive Oil and Elderberry Balsamic Vinegar got my attention. It was perfect for Winter Kale Salad, a recipe from Olive Amelia’s website, which was fabulous.

Long-time Amelia Islanders Buddy and Kim Holwell visited a thriving olive oil shop on vacation and decided the store would be a perfect fit for Fernandina. Kim’s friend, Laura, who’d lived in Sicily and knew all about EEVO, soon went from customer to manager. “We are so busy! Online orders and walk-ins are wonderful, but with my experience event-planning, we can also plan a private tasting event for clients in-store or off-site.”

There’s so much to learn I could go on for hours, but it’s time to make my Navel Orange Olive Oil Cake. Stop by the store at 206 Centre Street or visit their website at www.oliveamelia.com.
Olive juice, Olive Amelia!