Olive Wood, the Blog
I have to admit, I wasn’t completely sold on the idea. Starting a business, that is. It all started with my brother-in-law, Kiko. You see, he has a passion for business. Since marrying my dear husband (the “Penguin”), I’ve become quite used to the odd bits and pieces of Tunisia (his home land) that somehow find their way into our home. Yes, the Tunisian flag is hanging on our wall. We also have the requisite camel portrait. (Note: my husband assures me that despite the prevalence of Tunisian wall art depicting camels, they are, in fact, not its national symbol). Oh, and then there’s the plastic Kewpie-doll dressed as a Tunisian bride riding a stuffed camel sitting on top of our bookshelf.

We also have some truly wonderful things from Tunisia in our home. Don’t even get me started on my mother-in-law’s makrough, this incredible, crumbly, date-filled cookie. It’s like a Fig Newton, no, it’s more like the Fig Newton’s classier, sexier sister. If we’re lucky, maybe at some point Nini (that’s my sister-in-law) will share the secret of the makrough. There’s also the spices, oh the spices! I’ll never cook with American chili powder or cumin again! Wait, where was I? Oh! Right! Olive wood.

So, here’s the thing. It turns out that Tunisia, this small country tucked away in the Mediterranean, is the second-largest holder of olive trees in the world, right after Spain. And like all things Tunisian, it wasn’t too long before Kiko finagled some olive wood our way. If you’ve never held olive wood before, well, it’s a treat. It’s smooth and cool to the touch. The grain of the wood is mesmerizing. And the smell (yes, it smells like olive oil) is tantalizing.

It turns out that olive wood has been in use for centuries in Tunisia. Who knew? (Ok, well everyone in the house expect for me, the lone American, knew…). And it also turns out that Kiko has the hook up. It wasn’t too long before we were convinced we had a product we believed in, something we wanted to share with others, and Leggenda Didone was founded!

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