The last thing I expected in a gourmet shop specializing in artisanal olive oil was a full crop of woodworking items.
Have you ever worked with olive wood? Great stuff – hard, durable, fantastic figure and if you sand it to higher grits it begins to develop a bit of a shine even before you add finish. It works easily and is very stable, and once you’ve applied a finish the contrasts in the grain pop even more. I’ve worked with it a number of times, usually for smaller items like this set of pasta tools I made a couple years ago.
It’s not difficult to find as long as you’re making smaller items, but larger stock can be extremely pricey because olive trees just aren’t that big.
And smaller items brings us back on-topic. I got dragged along on a shopping trip yesterday and was kinda bored for most of it but being an avid cook, I perked up when Sally suggested checking out a nearby gourmet olive oil shop. And, boy, did they have olive oils. More kinds than you could shake a spatula at. (And all of it tasty.)
But the real treat was that they had a woodworking section featuring kitchen and cooking items, all of which were made from olive wood. Utensils, scoops, spoons, bowls, turned containers – pretty much anything you could use in the kitchen made of wood, they had it.
The sight of all that olive wood in one place was awesome. None of the items were large, but the shear volume of the offerings made a statement on its own. I haven’t made anything with olive wood since that set of utensils in the photo above, but I think the time has come to dip back into that species again.