Sunday, April 3, 2016

Di Oliva Tasting Bar

Just got back from a free olive oil and balsamic vinegar tasting at Di Oliva Tasting Bar.
I highly recommend doing the free tasting party instead of just walking in and randomly sampling their intriguing wares.
Typically the 2-hour tasting parties are arranged for after regular store hours. The online schedule shows only a lot of Tuesday, Wednesday, and Thursday spots, but if you really need another day, try calling them or e-mailing them.

In addition to giving you the basic info on their purity and qualify of extra virgin olive oil and balsamic vinegar, you are allowed to sample all of their main line of wares. Further, they bring out some food and sparkling water where their products are creatively used -- we had hummus, salad, baked brie, skewers of cheese and tomato, popcorn, and ice cream. It's a sampler portion, so don't expect a meal or to walk away full.

There is a corner of the store with an array of recipes in case you "don't know what to do" with a flavoured olive oil. There's apparently lots you can do and many places where they can be used.

In addition to olive oil and balsamic vinegar, they carry a few others edible oils, as well as supporting products such as pasta. For their balsamic vinegars and olive oils, the flavours indicated come through very clearly and quite strongly. Among the flavours I tried (there are lots -- I didn't try every single one):
  • Balsamic Vinegar
    • Alfoos Mango White Balsamic
    • Blackberry Ginger Dark Balsamic - hardly any ginger bite, unfortunately
    • Blueberry Dark Balsamic
    • Cara Cara Orange and Vanilla White Balsamic
    • Dark Chocolate
    • Espresso Dark Balsamic - along with the Dark Chocolate, these are two of the most intriguing vinegar flavours I discovered, flavours which you can taste shortly before the sweet-sour vinegar takes over your attention
    • Honey and Ginger White Balsamic
    • Pure Maple
  • Olive Oil
    • Fused Eureka Lemon
    • Fused Blood Orange
    • Garlic
    • Non-Dairy Butter - "this creamy olive oil is naturally infused with a rich blend of herbs to create the wonderful flavour of butter"; there's definitely a buttery aroma here
    • White Truffle - very strong truffle aroma; a little goes a long way; they also have truffled salt
    • Wild Fernleaf Dill
    • Wild Mushroom and Sage
    • Whole Pepper Fused Cayenne - spicy heat builds very slowly, so if you use too much initially thinking it's weak, you'll get a surprise later
  • Combos
    • Sparkling Water mixed with flavoured White Balsamic Vinegar - a little bit of vinegar goes a long way; I think they overdid it with the peach and the vinegar left too much of an aftertaste
    • Persian Lime Olive Oil and Blackberry Ginger Balsamic Vinegar
  • Japanese Dark Toasted Sesame Oil
  • Lobster Oil - The same used originally at The Cannery, and now (in different packaging?) available at Joe Fortes for $29.95 (for 375 ml); note that it does not taste like lobster MEAT, if that's what you're hoping for.
Interesting ideas include:
  • Pairings of balsamic vinegars and olive oils for even more complex flavour.
  • Drizzling balsamic vinegar on ice cream (e.g., chocolate or coconut balsamic vinegar).
Price at this time is as follows (more for the sesame oil and truffle olive oil):
  • Small (200 ml) - $13
  • Medium (375 ml) - $21
  • Large (750 ml) - $34
You can get 10% off with a Yelp Check-In or during one of their free tastings. You can get $1 off if you bring back a bottle for recycling.

2016-Apr-3 Di Oliva Tasting Bar

2016-Apr-3 Di Oliva Tasting Bar

2016-Apr-3 Di Oliva Tasting Bar - baked brie

2016-Apr-3 Di Oliva Tasting Bar

2016-Apr-3 Di Oliva Tasting Bar

2016-Apr-3 Di Oliva Tasting Bar

2016-Apr-3 Di Oliva Tasting Bar

2016-Apr-3 Di Oliva Tasting Bar

2016-Apr-3 Di Oliva Tasting Bar

2016-Apr-3 Di Oliva Tasting Bar

2016-Apr-3 Di Oliva Tasting Bar

2016-Apr-3 Di Oliva Tasting Bar

2016-Apr-3 Di Oliva Tasting Bar

2016-Apr-3 Di Oliva Tasting Bar

2016-Apr-3 Di Oliva Tasting Bar

2016-Apr-3 Di Oliva Tasting Bar

2016-Apr-3 Di Oliva Tasting Bar

2016-Apr-3 Di Oliva Tasting Bar

2016-Apr-3 Di Oliva Tasting Bar

2016-Apr-3 Di Oliva Tasting Bar

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