If you’re looking for a new way to season your vegetables, spice up your fish, marinate your meats, or just create a great dip, then olive oil and balsamic vinegar tastings might be for you.
Olive oil is a staple in most Mediterranean diets and has become popular in Western cooking in the recent decades. Many may not know this, but there are over 20 different types of olive oils, infused with various herbs and spices. When paired with infused balsamic vinegars, the flavor combination possibilities are endless.
Generally when it comes to taste testings wine might come to mind, maybe even cheese or coffee, but never oil. The best way to taste test the quality of olive oil is to place a small amount in a glass, and take a sniff. It should smell fresh. If it smells slightly musty or like cardboard the oil is not pure or has gone bad. Don’t worry if you’re a newbie to all of this, the expert doing the tasting will guide you. And if guzzling a little oil by itself sounds unappetizing, you can always pair the oil with a balsamic vinegar or dip in some bread.
There are several places that sell premium olive oils and balsamic vinegars, The Olive Pantry is one that is local to where I live and has become my summer favorite place to shop. They do walk-in taste testings and have a list of pairings that they recommend(which I plan to try out every single one as a part of my summer bucket list). Due to my soy allergy, I haven’t been able to eat any of my favorite Asian dishes., that is until they recommended I try the Honey Ginger Balsamic Vinegar which mimics the flavor I was going for in my orange chicken.
Not an expert cook? Don’t worry…they have pre-made rubs all ready and packaged to go. Cooking with their ingredients are virtually dummy proof. My favorite combination for chicken breasts on a summer salad is Dragon’s Breath Rub with Sicilian Lemon White Vinegar and Garlic Basil Olive Oil
If you are looking for any food events like this one or something new in your area you can try out Eventbrite. It is a platform that allows it’s users to find local events! They also have an event management page if you wanted to create/promote your own event as well.