Marsee Bakery olive bread: It’s the pits!

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) 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:


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.

11 Responses

  1. Yikes, oww oww! I hope your teeth are easily repaired.

  2. Dayum! That is horrible…and I cannot believe they have a disclaimer like that. No scratch that…I cannot believe they have pitts in their bread!


  3. Pseu — Thanks for the sympathy. Fingers crossed that it’s nothing structural (aka super-expensive)…I’ll know more by later today.

    Linda — Ditto the above, and extra thanks for making me laugh. Sounds like we’re both of the thought that if one can’t make pit-free olive bread, then one SHOULDN’T MAKE IT. Go figure!

  4. Your story sent shivers down my spine. I am the one who always gets the pitt, fly etc. in their food.

    Hope the tooth repair goes well, It stinks when this happens and the purveyor never takes responsibility.

  5. Kathy — Thank you!

    Can you believe Mr Vix was giving me grief about not posting pics of my jacked-up teeth if I was going to write about this? I was all HELLO PEOPLE HAVE SERIOUS FEARS ABOUT BREAKING THEIR TEETH I’M NOT HERE TO TRAUMATIZE.

    [Fun pseudofact: Dream analysis of lost teeth = fear of: change, death, powerlessness, failure, humiliation, financial instability, poor health, abandonment, and/or saying too much. No wonder it’s one of the few recurring nightmares I have, ha.]

    Luckily my dentist says the damage isn’t structural, but we need to shore up the little bit of tooth remaining lest I get total breakage. Next week I will go with the lower-priced option of bonding both teeth…to the tune of $360. [Sniff…goodbye vacation fund!]

  6. Oouchy-wouchy! Poor you!:-( No bread is worth teeth troubles— no matter how amazing it sounds.
    p.s. I must find blood orange olive oil. How did I live so long without knowing such a thing existed.

  7. LBR — Thanks for joining my pity party…looks like I’ll be forced to unlazy and once again make my own damn olive bread.

    And yep, get some BO olive oil (or lemon). I made sure to taste a ton of it when down in CA this winter — in fact, I tasted more olive oil and balsamic at wineries than wine! FWIW, I thought the Olive Pit’s held up really well against the competition (especially given the price).

  8. Vix, you need to invite my father over for lunch/dinner/breakfast: when he sits at the table everyone can be sure to be safe from pits because it is ALWAYS him who gets them. In our family it is kind of a running gag, only if it were funny! 😉

  9. Paula — Your poor dad…but he is officially invited! At least you all know your teeth are safe when he is around. And he knows to be on the alert, ha!

  10. Oh, I’m so sorry – that was an expensive loaf of bread, for sure. And such a shame, since I love olive bread too. I am off to check out Olive Pit!

  11. Struggler — Yep! Didn’t get my cost per wearing on that loaf. Thanks for the sympathy!

    And yes, get you some olive-y treats at TOP or somewhere else. FYI, the dressing above—with the addition of fresh rosemary—got rave reviews in its debut as a “alternative” potato salad (~ 1 full recipe to ~ 7 lbs of potatoes).

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