Eatery specializes in gourmet olives

Tricia Peterson

Oh, the variety of olives, Ice and Olives has, and you can sample one if you are indecisive on which kind you want. I love trying things before I buy them, especially olives, especially if they are stuffed with various ingredients.

Ice and Olives at 29th Street and Croco Road, specializes in gourmet olives, both in bulk and jarred. The business offers its own private selection in the dry good sections of the little market – ranging from almond stuffed, to anchovy stuffed, to bleu cheese stuffed.

The olives sold in bulk include the roasted garlic stuffed olive, which I thought would be overpowering but ended up being quite pleasant. The saltiness of the olive combines with the garlic to blend together into one flavor.  The Italian olive is the bright red one with the pit still in it. Now, don’t be scared of the pit, as long as you know it is there it should do you no harm. This olive reminded me of a milder black olive, and would be good to give salads color, or maybe even to cook with fish in replacement of capers. The last one I tried was a garlic jalapeño one, which I was scared of because I don’t like overly spicy things. This was a surprise in that it was crunchy because of the jalapeño, but the garlic toned it down, as well as the saltiness from the olive.  This one ended up being my favorite because of the texture and the flavor combined.

All of the meat Ice and Olives uses is a brand called Boar’s Head and is completely gluten free, which means there are no fillers, customers are paying for the meat and the meat only. You can buy this by the pound as well as order sandwiches from their menu that have Boar’s Head deli meat.

The cheeses are impressive as well. Musser’s Artisan “Prairie Breeze” aged sharp white cheddar—which won the Gold medal for 2010 World Cheese Awards—is offered, and worth a try.  Some cheeses they add fruit to, like the Blueberry Stilton, and the Cranberry Wensleydale. My favorite is the Humboldt Fog which is a blue veined goat’s cheese and different than your typical crumbly goat cheese. It is a little creamier, and the flavor is outstanding. You can melt this cheese into a fondue or even crumble it on top of salads, appetizers or entrees. The possibilities are endless.

Ice and Olives has a website which will tell you which olives are available in bulk at any given time. There is also a list of the specialty cheeses it has because they get cheese from all over the world so they change it up sometimes.

Ice and Olives is a combination food-mart, deli and restaurant; and on the other side they offer PT’s Coffee Roasting Company coffee and dessert, as well as an area to eat your deli sandwich or drink your coffee. They call this the Java Bar but it is operated by the same proprietors.

It hsd way more than olives, the list could go on and on. If you are a lover of gourmet foods you cannot get at Dillons or Wal Mart, this is the perfect place, and the pricing is reasonable.  The website is where they also list special events.