Call me mind-blowingly optimistic, but when I buy a loaf of olive bread and see a “May contain olive pits” disclaimer, I assume that any “pits” will be pretty much pulverized. Because what commercial bakery would have a quality control process that allowed pits of any DISCERNABLE size to appear in the final product?
Well, for starters: Marsee Bakery.
Marsee Bakery Olive Bread: Truth in advertising + the poking-out, slightly flour-obscured Pit #2 (upper center)
Marsee Bakery Olive Bread: Truth in advertising + the poking-out Pit #2 (right)...as always, click to enlarge
There may of course be others, but in approximately 15 years neither I nor any olive bread eater I’ve known has encountered pits in their olive bread. That would be…wrong. Dangerous. Or as Tawny, the Marsee Bakery employee with whom I initially spoke said:*
I’m sorry. That isn’t supposed to happen.”
But happen it did, leaving me with two sheared/chipped teeth and discomfort I’m scared to have diagnosed by my dentist tomorrow. Luckily the loaf wasn’t shared amongst friends, since after swallowing Pit #1 and some tooth fragments I noticed—and photographed—another pit poking its not-so-little self out at the bottom. I’d certainly get a rep as hostess with the mostess if I served bread that took out someone ELSE’S teeth!
Since I was both concerned by the idea of rampaging pits and hoping Marsee might feel ethically compelled to cover my entirely-out-of-pocket dental costs**, I contacted them. Once over the phone, the second time in person. At which point Tawny informed me that Chef Danielle was going with the Disclaimer Defense. And declined to give me the contact info of higher ups. [Nor ask for mine, just in case anyone further up the chain of command wanted to reach me.]
Maybe my love of Ralph Nader’s non-presidential-election-related efforts is talking here, but if olive bread is going to be the new chaw, then I think Marsee Bakery needs to amp up its disclaimer. Show you mean business, people! I’m thinking something along the lines of:
WARNING. THIS LOAF MAY CONTAIN OLIVE PITS THAT CAN JACK UP YOUR TEETH AND POTENTIALLY CAUSE OTHER HEALTH PROBLEMS. INGEST AT YOUR OWN RISK!
Marsee did offer to replace my two loaves of olive bread, however. [Me: "You know, I'd rather not take the risk."] Instead, I accepted their DDS-bound refund. Though maybe I should earmark it for a JD instead.
In the spirit of “love the sinner, hate the sin” though, I’d like to rave about a place that understands how to do right by the delicious olive:
Ironically given my trouble with its namesake, my true love may be The Olive Pit
Yes, the affectionately—and non-literally—named company, located in the heart of California olive country, offers passerby an unpretentious setting and many an olive-oriented delight. Graze at their olive bar and leave wishing you’d held back on that last blue-cheese stuffed olive! Debate the ideal amount of grassiness an olive oil should have as you sample “regular” and flavored varieties! Rejoice at how their aged balsamics have a price point good for those with champagne taste and a beer budget!
I’m telling you, what the Olive Pit lacks in la di dah labeling it makes up for with kickass product and super-reasonable pricing.
Fortunately for those of us who only drive through Corning, California on rare occasions or don’t live near it at all, the Olive Pit does online transactions. And fortunately for those gunshy about PITS in their olive products, they seem to have mastered the art of extraction. Maybe Marsee Bakery should place a bulk order.
Below, one of my favorite (if unimaginative) ways to use The Olive Pit’s products….
The Celebrating Corning Honey Citrus Vinaigrette
4 oz orange juice
2.5 Tbsp honey
2 oz aged Traditional Style Balsamic Vinegar
4 oz inexpensive extra virgin olive oil
3 oz yuppie olive oil (recommended: Ascolano, Arbequina,
or the only-available-seasonally-and-mine’s-almost gone Olio Nuovo from the California Olive Ranch)
1 oz Blood Orange olive oil
Salt + pepper to taste
Mix juice, honey, and vinegar together. In separate pourable bowl/measuring cup, combine oils. Whisk oils into juice mixture; add salt and pepper.
** Unfortunately not on tape.
** Not everyone will share my position, I know. So far my informal polling has resulted in a 70/30 split in favor of company responsibility.
Note: All products purchased by me. No monies have been given for the writing of this post though I will be happy to accept some NEW TEETH from Marsee Bakery.
Filed under: risk | Tagged: California, corporate responsibility, Marsee Bakery, product review, The Olive Pit | 11 Comments »