Maggie Lebherz’s olive-oil shop is inspired by her time in Spain. Photograph by Scott SuchmanWhen Maggie Lebherz was studying in Spain, she developed two passions: fresh olive oil and aged balsamic vinegar. Back home, she found olive oil “pre-bottled and basically flavorless compared to what you can get in Spain.” So last June the 24 year-old opened Lebherz Oil & Vinegar Emporium—also known as L.O.V.E. The Frederick shop mimics Spanish markets where you can walk in and fill any vessel with fresh, vibrant-tasting olive oil.
At L.O.V.E., 48 stainless-steel jugs hold the oils and vinegars, all available for sampling. We liked the butter olive oil; a chipotle-infused olive oil with a spicy kick; and a bright lemon olive oil. Among vinegars, we fell for the wild-blueberry balsamic, perfect over vanilla ice cream; honey-ginger white balsamic, which we’ll work into summer cocktails; and the cinnamon-pear balsamic, which would work wonderfully for poaching fruit.
These oils and vinegars also go well in salads, but the lesson here is that they can do much more.
Lebherz Oil & Vinegar Emporium, 214 N. Market St., Frederick; 301-228-3996.
This article appears in the June 2011 issue of The Washingtonian.