Guest post by the fabulous Michelle Murray, sharing the dish on a local foodie destination.
About a year ago – I ended a 20 year relationship and broke up with olive oil. The taste of any of the oils I’d buy would feel heavy on my palate. I thought for sure olive oil and I were through, until a friend of mine told me to check out an artisan shop in Coquitlam, dedicated to selling the purest oils, and the most decadent balsamic vinegars any foodie would go crazy for.
Eager to re-kindle my love affair with this precious oil that history dates back to way before 2000 BC, I crossed the Port Moody border, and stepped into Tri-Cities Tasters Oil & Vinegars Retail and Tasting Room in the Eagle Ridge Plaza in Coquitlam.
I’m a huge fan of food shops with Artisan flair, whether it be spices, cheeses, vinegars – you name it. If you own a small business that has a focus on food, I will more than likely become one of your biggest fans. If you throw in a dash of sublime customer service, I will tell all my friends that you are a must visit on your food spending excursions. Tri-Cities Tasters is that, and so much more.
I was lucky enough to meet one of the owners, and his passion for what is sold within these four walls is not difficult to miss. He spent quite a lot of time taking me around, showing and teaching me all about the history of the olive oils and vinegars in the store. There is something fancy about sampling various oils and 18 year old balsamic vinegars melded together with some of the most delightful taste notes and flavours.
There is something to be said about be educated on the origin and history of what you’re tasting – about the difference between infused and fused olive oils, or about the different regions olive oils come from. Also, for all those chocolate lovers out there, if you’ve ever had a dream of combining vinegar and chocolate together, you’re not alone my friend. It does indeed exist and the taste is divine!
In the end I purchased a Blood Orange Fused Olive Oil, a Tuscan Herb Infused Olive Oil, a Favolosa Extra Virgin Olive Oil, and a Cranberry Pear White Balsamic Vinegar (aged 18 years).
If you love artisan food, supporting the local small business economy — and have a palate that craves a little something different, this store is a must for any home cook (or chef). These oils and vinegars will also make great hostess gifts, and will be the perfect accompaniment to salads, pasta, and breads. Plus, it’s worth it to go in for a tasting, and the customer service!
Check out their website: Tri-Cities Tasters or better yet, go spend an hour (or two in the store)!
Michelle is a resident of the V3H, a Foodie, Social Media Geek, and a supporter of locally owned (and grown) businesses in the Tri-Cities area. Michelle currently sits on the Centennial Steering Committee for the City of Port Moody, and is a writer for Geek Magazine as well as Social Media Camp, where she will be speaking this May on the fundamentals of blogging.