Akemi and I were out and about today, running errands, when we happened across The Vancouver Olive Oil Company, a delightful little shop on West Broadway (2571 W. Broadway to be exact). Having recently read an article on the poor quality of the olive oil sold in most supermarkets (ranging from old stock to adulterated crap), I was intrigued and decided to check the place out.
Opened in January of this year, Vancouver Olive Oil Company offers up a variety of high quality olive oils and balsamic vinegars from a number of different countries: Italian Favolosa, Spanish Manzanillo, olive oils perfumed with Persian Lime or Mushroom & Sage, Sicilian Lemon White Balsamic, and Espresso Dark Balsamic – to name just a few.
Don’t know what you’re looking for? Well, you’re free to try any and all they have available because Vancouver Olive Oil Company is a shop AND tasting bar. Each of the 50 or so product selections are available for sampling and the friendly staff is more than happy to give you the rundown on the different offerings.
We started with the medium to robust olive oils and were surprised by the subtle, and sometimes not so subtle, distinctions between them. We were each offered samples in a small, paper cup and instructed to warm the oil by placing it between our cupped hands for thirty seconds to release the scent and flavors.
We ended up tasting about seven different olive oil varieties, noting their distinctive appearances, scents, and flavor profiles. Yes, in many ways, it was reminiscent of a chocolate tasting.
What did you think I was going to compare it to? Wine?
Akemi very much enjoyed the California Arbequina for its pronounced herbaciousness while I preferred the Spanish Picual for its peppery finish. I also liked the lighter Leccino which makes use of Tuscan olives.
We then moved on to the Balsamics lining the walls, 12 year aged whites and 18 year aged darks. We ended up going with the Grapefruit White Balsamic, Fig Dark Balsamic, and a Red Apple Dark Balsamic.
Akemi and I capped off our visit with a chat with owner Michaelanne Buckley, a woman who is clearly passionate about (and knows) her olive oil.
It’s fascinating stuff. Along with the glorious oils and balsamics, I also picked up a book, Extra Virginity: The Sublime and Scandalous World of Olive Oil, by Tom Mueller. Should make for some very interesting reading.
If you’re in the area, check them out. Or head on over to their website for information on their company philosophy, products, and the 411 on oleic acid, free fatty acids, and polyphenol counts.
Vancouver Olive Oil Company
2571 West Broadway
Closed Sundays and Mondays
The Weird Food Purchase of the Day video series returns with guest sampler, Akemi, who tries North American grape soda for the first time. And loves it!
Me: Thank you (to waitress)
Akemi takes a sip, makes a face like she just swallowed a hairball.
Me: Do you like it? (in my best smart-ass tone)
Akemi: I don’t like it.
Me: Why not?
Akemi: Tastes like for kids. I’m not kids. (beat) Like…this one is Fanta. Fanta Grape.
Akemi: But you didn’t say that (taking another sip).
Me: Well, I said grape. I said grape soda. I said purple –
Akemi: You said grape. You said purple color, but I thought like a fresh grape…
Me: What fresh grape is purple?
Akemi: I don’t know. Like a wine. (takes another sip – and makes another face)
Me: If you don’t like it, why are you drinking it?
She shoves the glass toward me.
Akemi: I will give to you. Eat ice cream because I want to eat –
Me: You want to try my ice cream?
Akemi: No, I want to eat cone.
The video ends there, but shortly after I stopped recording, she ate both my ice cream AND cone.
Continuing our trip down SGA memory lane…
I was never a big fan of any of the ascension-themed stories but this one has little to do with actual ascension and everything to do with Rodney and the relationships he’s formed over the course of his time on Atlantis. More than all the talk about ascension or even the danger McKay faces, what stands out for me in this episode are the small acts of kindness that Rodney performs in the face of his imminent death. Meditating with Sheppard, hugging Ronon, writing up a list of the great things Weir has done as Commander, keeping Teyla company during an Athosian ceremony, giving Radek a pep talk – these are all actions that come, not as a result of a change he has undergone, but from the heart of a guy who realizes he may never again have the opportunity to do these things with his friends. Great.