The Norman Transcript


October 7, 2012

Teaoli offers specialty teas, vinegars and olive oils



“The different kinds of trees and regions of the world bring a unique character to the flavors,” Larry Rhoads said.

A statement at the Veronica Foods website sagely indicates that every producer around the world is of the opinion that their olive oil is best.

“There are intensities of olive oil flavor ranging from mild to medium to robust,” Larry Rhoads said. “Some are peppery and they’re all unique. One of our most popular is Tuscan oil infused with garlic and basil.”

Balsamic vinegars are brought from Modena, Italy and often are aged longer than fine wines, some as long as 18 years. They’re used for marinating meats or vegetables before cooking and concocting home-made salad dressings.

Teaoli’s forte is making the acidic condiment distinctive with unlikely flavor combinations such as cinnamon-pear, blackberry-ginger and black cherry. There’s even dark chocolate balsamic vinegar.

Teaoli has dozens of il fustino around the store. They are small stainless steel tanks for storing vinegar and each has a spigot for drawing out the liquid for a little taste or filling a bottle to go.

More than thirty varieties of tea are sold by the ounce. They come from plantations in Thailand, India and South America. One or two choices are naturally caffeine-free. Oolong, black and green teas with exotic names such as “Chinese Mutan” and “Blue Sapphire” are in stock.

“Not so long ago the typical Oklahoma consumer was much less informed about tea than today,” Larry Rhoads said. “They were kind of limited to the box and the bag. As people have learned about the wide variety and better quality our customer base has grown tremendously.”

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