Interview with Terri Karlsson, co-owner of The Tree & Vine
The Olive Tree and the Grape Vine are ancient symbols of peace, sustenance, and merriment.
The Tree and Vine’s primary products are fine, extra virgin olive oils and balsamic vinegars – fruits of the olive tree and the grape vine. Guests are invited to taste all of their olive oils and balsamic vinegars. Your favorites are then poured into an attractive bottle featuring a bar top cork with a wine-bottle type foil as a final seal.
Rapid River Magazine: Tell us a little about The Tree and Vine.
Terri Karlsson: We’re a totally independent store featuring the freshest olive oils and very old balsamics, Mediterranean, and locally sourced foods. We have a wonderful selection of Mediterranean wines and wine accessories in our Asheville store as well as olive oil skin care products.
RRM: What are some of your most popular oils and vinegars?
TK: Our 18 year old traditional balsamic is the most popular product. Our Aulente Sicilian oil is the most popular estate olive oil with Laconiko Greek Oil coming in a close second.
RRM: Not all olive oils and vinegars are created equal. Tell us a little about your selections.
TK: All of our oils are extra virgin, but our estate oils are the highest quality of extra virgin with very low acidity. We source each product individually, visiting many olive oil estates each year to select products. Our balsamics come from Italy, of course, with the exception of a couple of white balsamic style vinegars.
RRM: What are some of the health benefits in using olive oil in cooking or baking?
TK: Numerous studies have been performed on the health benefits of olive oil showing a reduction in cholesterol and other cardiovascular benefits, including stroke prevention. A recent study with a very large sample size showed a very strong tie to health and the Mediterranean diet. Olive oil is a natural anti-inflammatory which is important because many diseases are the result of inflammation.
RRM: How do your products vary with the seasons?
TK: This summer we are featuring a lemon white balsamic which goes great on fruit or vegetable salads when something light and refreshing is needed.
We have also just received a Greek seasoning olive oil which has lemon, chives, pepper and oregano that is perfect for chicken, fish or vegetables. We’ve had a very positive response from both of these new products. Our basil oil and aged traditional balsamic combination is always popular in the summer as our “caprese cocktail”.
The Tree and Vine
in Biltmore Village
22 Lodge St, Asheville, NC 28803