By Eden Ramsay (@EdenRamsay)
We’ve all heard of wine and cheese parties, but how about oil and vinegar parties? Oil and vinegar tasting has been a growing craze among the gourmet food scene. Frescolio is Winnipeg’s answer to a literal flavour buffet of oil and vinegars.
I first tried extra virgin olive oil and balsamic vinegar as a dipping sauce for a rosemary pan bread as an appetizer from Earls Restaurant. Since then I’ve made my own dipping sauce at home sprinkling balsamic vinegar into olive oil as a dipping sauce for bread as a light, healthy snack. Until I heard of Frescolio’s products I had no idea that there were so many options out there when it comes to oil and vinegar flavours.
As a fine oil and vinegar tasting bar, one of the best things about Frescolio is you are encouraged to sample any of the oil and vinegars available. Prices for most oils and vinegars range from $5 for a 60 ml bottle, $12 for a 200 ml bottle, $18 for a 375 ml bottle, and $28 for a 750 ml bottle. The staff are very helpful with recommendations about what food compliments each oil and vinegar, which ones go well together, and graciously offer all kinds of tips and advice on the topic.
I ended up trying quite a few and had to resist the urge to try them all. Their products are high in quality and freshness and the flavours are diverse. I fell in love with the Tuscan Herb extra virgin olive oil. This smooth blend of savoury flavours includes herbs, sun-dried tomatoes, and garlic. They go perfectly together and would be a welcome addition to many dishes including salad dressings, pastas, marinades, and bread dipping.
I also ended up going with the Black Mission Fig dark balsamic vinegar with its rich, fruity flavour. I had read on their website this traditional Mediterranean flavour paired well with my other choice, the Tuscan Herb olive oil. I’m also a huge fan of goat cheese and was told their flavours compliment each other nicely. I had some sprinkled on top of strawberries, blackberries, and blueberries that gave a tangy gourmet spin on the berry mix.
Frescolio also offers a selection of balsamic jams, specially flavoured sea salt, and gift baskets. Their featured gift basket was a do-it-yourself, popcorn-themed pack. It includes popcorn, oils, salts, and recipes for Rosemary Garlic Parmesan Popcorn and Herbes de Provence Popcorn with Smoked Sea Salt. These sound like a delectable alternatives to the classic butter and salt popcorn combo.
For a great Valentine’s Day idea visit Frescolio on Friday, February 14 from 7 p.m. until 9 p.m. They will be serving appetizers made with the products they offer along with complementary wines in a tasting-bar atmosphere. Tickets are $100 per couple and include a $30 gift card to pick out your own oils or vinegars to bring home. Purchase your ticket by Tuesday, February 11 by calling (204) 505-1455.
Pay a visit to Frescolio to learn about the world of fine oils and vinegars and experience this very welcome addition to Winnipeg’s trendy food scene.
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Eden Ramsay is a Creative Communications student at Red River College. She has a Bachelor of Fine Arts (Honours) from the University of Manitoba and majored in graphic design. She loves culture, design in its many forms, and exploring the world around her.