Have you heard about Twisted Trunk Olive Oil Company? It’s housed inside The Green Thumbers at 3030 Brady Street in Davenport. As part of an already existing company, The Green Thumbers bought the rights to purchase the specialty oils and vinegars from certified distributors.
It fits right into the healthy, green, eat fresh, shop local ideals that The Green Thumbers embodies. I stumbled into the shop a few months ago and was immediately fascinated, I had no idea it existed. I started asking some questions and their staff was very knowledgeable, helpful, and very approachable for a subject matter I knew nothing about. While there, the staff noticed my intrigue and suggested I sign up for a class being offered there.
Head Florist Gina Doup, who usually spends her workdays outdoors during the warmer months, was approached about taking over the management of Twisted Trunk during the months she was going to be inside. Having a passion for food, and cooking being one of her favorite hobbies, Gina said yes.
Not long after, she had the idea to host cooking classes at The Green Thumbers, educating people on the different olive oils and vinegars, the health benefits of these products, and what you can do with them in your own home. That’s what is so wonderful about Twisted Trunk, there is no shortage of information to help guide you in choosing a product that you’d feel comfortable using. Classes seemed like a natural addition.
Through the winter The Green Thumbers held two classes a month, every other Tuesday, with different themes. They last for about an hour, are a mere $5 and are already quite popular – they max out on 40 participants because the classroom won’t hold any more than that.
The class I attended was called, “All About the Sauces” and it provided several different tastes of different dishes made with all sort of oils and vinegars from Twisted Trunk, as well as recipes to take home. It was a fun group of people, a little chaotic at times, but an enjoyable hour for sure. There will be a summer class about grilling, but after that the classes will be suspended until the cooler months return. Keep watch on their Facebook page for when the details are posted, and make sure you call ahead and reserve your place, the classes fill up quickly.
If you’re not into classes much, I encourage you to just go visit and take a look around. In the shop area are many different stainless steel vats with spigots on them and sample cups nearby, each vessel containing a different vinegar or oil available to try.
There are you basic, straight olive oil and balsamic vinegar, but there are also infused ones as well, there are near endless varietals: strawberry or blueberry vinegars, lemon or espresso infused oils, the possibilities are indeed endless. There is information about what each product is as well as recipes that go along with anything you may choose to purchase. These oils and vinegars are pricier than that ones at our local Hy-Vee grocery stores – for about $5 you can buy 500mL of oil at the market, whereas at Twisted Trunk you’d get 60mL.
You might be wondering, why spend the extra money for these oils and vinegars when I can buy a similar product for a cheaper price at the grocery store? It’s about the freshness and quality of the product.
All of Twisted Trunk’s wares are shipped in twice a year, meaning they are less than six months old. One typically cannot guarantee the age of the oils you get at the grocery store. If it doesn’t have a harvest date on the label, don’t trust it. I went and checked out a few options at my nearby store, and all of them had “Use By” dates, but nothing about when the olives were harvested.
In an informational pamphlet at Twisted Trunk Olive Oil Co., it explains that the “other” oils are usually of poor quality, often rancid, and non are at all regulated by U.S. The majority of the olive oil that we buy is imported to us already spoiled! This takes away from the heart-healthy benefits of olive oil – much like any other juices, it should be consumed fresh. When olive oil ages or experiences certain chemical breakdowns due to poor handling, it loses its beneficial agents in can provide.
Olive oil is affected by light as well as oxygen. If it is in a clear bottle and hasn’t been handled properly, there is a good chance it has been spoiled. And once the bottle is open, the healthy goodness inside already begins to degrade, it typically lasts about 6 months after being opened. Twisted Trunk Olive Oils are all fresh, and guaranteed by their distributors which ship from California (for the oils) and Italy (for the vinegars).
As for the vinegars, it is about the quality and variety that Twisted Trunk has to offer. Incorporating more oils and vinegars into your diet brings a myriad of health benefits, such as replacing condiments with lower calorie options or making healthy versions of more heavy, cream based sauces. Here are some ideas for the Secrets of Healthy Eating.
Of my handful of visits to the Twisted Trunk Olive Oil Company, I have enjoyed myself thoroughly, learned a lot, and bought some tasty products that have also become interesting conversation pieces. I recommend it to anyone who loves cooking with fresh ingredients as well as those looking for healthier alternatives in their diet. There are good gift ideas there as well if you’re shopping for someone else. Find them on Facebook and stop up to 3030 Brady Street, Monday through Friday 8am – 8pm, Saturday and Sunday open until 5pm.