Focus on local businesses: Tahoe Oil & Spice   Leave a comment

Contributed by Michelle Portesi


Tahoe Oil and Spice

Tahoe Oil and Spice


In my travels here and there, I have often come across what has become a prolific and popular food trend: high end oil and vinegar purveyors. Always intrigued with new twists and creative flavors in standard recipes, I bought my first bottle of fancy flavored, high end olive oil at the quaint little beach town of Ventura in Southern California, and I was immediately hooked. My purchase of a blood orange infused oil added a wonderfully subtle yet  flavorful addition to any number of baked goods and pancakes, and I was soon adding it to everything, until my bottle of oil was soon gone. Not wanting to make numerous trips to S. Cal. just to feed my new oil fetish, I sought out local purveyors closer to home, soon becoming a connoisseur of oils sporting what has become one of my favorite go to flavors. Some hit the mark, others didn’t, and I became familiar with my own personal favorite players in the field. But I still had to do some traveling to get them, even if it was a trip to Reno or Grass Valley.

Local gourmands (and myself) can now rejoice! We finally have such an oil and vinegar store right here in town. Situated next to what was at one time an old vintage style gas station in Old Downtown Truckee is Tahoe Oil & Spice.  Think of it as a tasting room for oils and vinegars instead of wines. I was treated to one of the store’s favorite combination for salads: Blood Orange Olive Oil with Dark Chocolate Balsamic Vinegar. Odd as it sounds, it was truly amazing with just a touch of richness and decadence. Just the ticket to dress up any salad and take it from the mundane to fantastic.


Tahoe Oil & Spice

Tahoe Oil & Spice


My penchant for baking and searches for interesting salad dressings aside, there are also herb infused olive oils that are great for everything from dipping oils for breads to sautes for pasta dishes. Towards that end, Tahoe Oil & Spice also carries gourmet pastas to compliment your oil and vinegar purchases. You can substitute balsamic vinegar as the acid component in dishes, or use them to create a demi glaze for sauteed meats and vegetables. Think outside of the box and you will find dozens of uses for these wonderful oils and vinegars.  Extra Virgin Olive Oil has also been attributed with a wide range of health benefits from ancient times through today.

Did you know that the ancient Greeks used olive oil as a personal cleanser instead of soap? Their process sounds like a rather messy endeavor, so instead, our modern day equivalents are soaps and lotions made with olive oil, reaping the oil’s benefits without the muss and fuss. Tahoe Oil and Spice also carries a wide range of soaps and lotions so your outside can benefit as much as your insides from this wonderful oil.

Tahoe Oil & Spice also carries spices and rubs, in addition to many other products.

Visit their website for more recipe ideas and to learn more:

Or better still, stop by the shop, and be sure to pick up one of their brochures for a list of all of their oil and vinegars, in addition to suggestions for pairing combinations and uses.

Tahoe Oil & Spice is located at 10091 Donner Pass Road, Truckee, CA 96161
Hours: Monday-Saturday: 10-6, Sunday: 11-6











Original recipe makes 8 pancakes


  •   3/4 cup milk
  •   2 tablespoons cranberry pear balsamic vinegar
  • 1 cup all-purpose flour
  • 2 tablespoons white sugar
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1 egg
  • 2 tablespoons blood orange oil
  • blood orange oil for griddle


  1. Combine milk with vinegar in a medium bowl and set aside for 5 minutes to “sour”.
  2. Combine flour, sugar, baking powder, baking soda, and salt in a large mixing bowl. Whisk egg and blood orange oil into “soured” milk. Pour the flour mixture into the wet ingredients and whisk until lumps are gone.
  3. Heat a large skillet over medium heat, and coat with blood orange oil. Pour 1/4 cupfuls of batter onto the skillet, and cook until bubbles appear on the surface. Flip with a spatula, and cook until browned on the other side.


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