Sunday, March 28, 2010
Another Local Foodie Find: The Olive Tap
I first encountered the tasty oils and vinegars from The Olive Tap at the Fabulous Food Show. As with most booths with sampling opportunities, they were more or less mobbed by people acting like they hadn't eaten in months. I made a note to visit the store in person, where I was sure the sampling would be a lot more civil affair.
I finally made the trip to the Medina store recently, which is tucked into the corner of one of the strip malls on North Court Street. There is also another location in Long Grove, Illinois. There is a selection of about two dozen different vinegars and oils on tap in kegs for tasting and fresh bottling.
The product list provided lists two dozen extra virgin olive oils sourced from all around the world, including California, Greece, Italy, Australia, and Tunisia. There are also over a dozen varieties infused with flavors ranging from basil, chipotle peppers, lemon, wild sage and mushroom, and maybe the best roasted sesame oil I've ever tried.
The selection of balsamic vinegars, all from Modena Italy, ranges from an 18 year old traditional, to many infused flavors like cinnamon pear, pomegranate, black cherry, and fig. My favorite among the vinegars, and it's hard to pick just one, is the white balsamic infused with Sicilian lemon. I can see a lot of recipes where this will add a note of brightness.
Part of the fun of tasting at the store is combining vinegar and oil tastings to create a completely new flavor. They provide a pairing sheet of favorites, or you are free to create your own.
Don't miss the Dark Chocolate Balsamic Vinegar! This is perfect from drizzling over fruits and pairing with hard, intensely flavored cheeses.
In addition to their own products, they also feature wine and flavored jellies by Deanna Ferry, and a selection of condiments and accessories.