REVIEW: Viva La Olive brings quality olive oil to Wichita


Victor Dimartino

Viva La Olive offers samples of oil for customers to try before purchasing.

Viva La Olive is located in Old Town in between Old Chicago and City Arts, bringing all sorts of olive oil and vinegar from all over the world to one store. 

A quick backstory: First off, I’m Italian, you know this because I told you, the reader. And if there is one thing Italians use a lot of, it’s olive oil and vinegar. I had the privilege to go to Italy and try lots of different kinds of olive oil and vinegar. This is the first time since being in Italy I’ve had quality olive oil and vinegar soak into my taste buds the way that made shocked Victor say, “Wow, I never knew olive oil could be so amazing.” I tried a grand total of 12 olive oils and 5 kinds of vinegar. I also made some brownies and pasta using Viva La Olive’s ingredients.

So, there are different types of olive oil. There is fused and infused olive oil. Fused is just normal olive oil that you get by crushing the olive and collecting its oil. Infused is the same thing as fused, but there are some extra steps, giving it a different flavor. For example, a type of infused olive oil–and my personal favorite–is the orange flavor. 

The fused olive oils I tried included cobrancosa, hojiblanca, koroneiki, Italian peranzana and coratina. My favorite was the Italian peranzana, which I found to be very rich with a long lasting flavor. Another stand out oil from these is the koroneiki, which was pretty spicy but still had good flavor, asthe flavor wasn’t drowned out by the spice.

For infused flavors, I tried cilantro and red onion, garlic, mushroom and sage, herbs de provence, Italian lemon, peperoncino garlic agrumato, roasted sesame, pesto and blood orange. My favorite was the blood orange. I used the blood orange in the brownies I made and they were fantastic. 

I personally loved all of the infused oils that I tried. The mushroom and sage was amazing if you like mushrooms. Herbs de provence had this after taste of lavender and the Italian lemon was just like fresh lemon that I imagine would go perfectly with seafood. 

I’m not much of a salad guy, but with the amazing vinegars I tried I might have to start eating them. The vinegars were amazing. You could just straight drink it and it would taste great. I tried some of them with salad and the bland salad was brought to life by the amazing flavors. The vinegars that I tried were teriyaki, dark balsamic, pomegranate, gala apple, honey ginger and fig. My favorites were the gala apple because I like apples and the fig because it was so rich and syrupy.

I also bought some imported pasta that they sell. I got spinach fettuccine. My biggest complaint is that it is imported from Germany, hurting the authenticity. The pasta was great; I served it with just some basic sauce and fresh cilantro. I used the Italian peranzana olive oil and I can’t tell you how much I’ve missed using quality olive oil with my pasta. 

This store is run by women and they are all very nice and helpful. If you are interested in getting something from them just go in and any of them would be happy to help you. The person that helped me was Jan Vicory and she was so helpful in helping me find the olive oils that were right for me. 

Great olive oil turns okay food into good food, good into great, and great into amazing.