On my recent trip to Louisville, Michele introduced me to a place she knew I would be excited about — a shop called Zi Olive that specializes in gourmet olive oils, balsamic vinegars and spices. I couldn’t wait to get inside! (But, of course, I had to memorialize the visit with pictures, so I did have to wait until I had snapped one of Michele at the entrance!)
I saw varieties of olive oil and balsamic that I could not imagine. Smoked balsamic. Sundried Tomato and Parmesan Garlic olive oil. Moroccan Olive Oil. Butter olive oil! Where do I begin?
They have done the smartest thing: They have large, colorful laminated cards displayed with each different oil or vinegar explaining what it is and providing examples of how it could be used. If you don’t snap pictures of the little signs, as I did, no worries. You can find them all on the shop’s website, ziolive.com. On the site, you can also purchase the oils and vinegars and special gift baskets, plus there are recipes! The Chocolate Balsamic as a marinade for chicken or pork. Who knew?!
You knew I couldn’t resist the Bacon Olive Oil, didn’t you? When they described it as adding sweet, salty and smoky goodness to a warm spinach salad, they had me hooked. Well, actually, they probably had me hooked at the word bacon, but it’s nice to have some ideas about how to use it.
I amassed a little selection to try back at PrettyFood headquarters. They had little white paper cups that one could pour them in and sniff, then taste. I like a lot of things, but oil without food to put it on is not one of them, so I’ve purchased them based upon description and aroma alone and the hope of wonderful things to come.
Breaking out of one’s comfort zone and trying something new is a good thing. Shake up your taste buds!
Stay tuned for the next lesson!