Ah Love Oil and Vinegar in Shirlington offers a unique take on tastings, their oils and vinegars are a fun and different experience and they have a multitude of flavors and pairings.
As part of our event, we learned about olive oil production and olive oil fraud–did you know, olive oil is the biggest food fraud in the world? We had an in-depth instruction on appropriately tasting olive oil and the different flavors in styles of production.
The infused olive oils were fun and interesting. I especially liked the roasted chili olive oil, it wasn’t overly spicy but appropriate in it’s heat level. The Mediterranean blend was also nice, flavors of oregano, ground pepper, lemon, and of garlic rounded it out making it very versatile for dipping or cooking. I’m a huge bread and oil fan, frequently I add herbs or parmesan cheese to my olive oils for an appetizer or simple meal so the Mediterranean blend was definitely a find.
I’ve always like balsamics in dressings and as a finishing touch for some appetizers but their variety of flavors and suggestions really kind of blew my mind. The Lemon White Balsamic, a sweet, rich aged white balsamic infused with fresh lemon. It was bright and fresh and I could imagine it in salad dressings, finishing pasta dishes and marinades. The next vinegar I tried, a Honey Ginger White Balsamic, white balsamic is infused with the sweetness of honey combined with the spice of fresh ginger. I can’t say I’d had anything like it before, and wanted to immediately devour it with fresh fruit or in a hot tea. Ah Love has so many recipes that I can’t wait to try!
After our tasting, we were exploring the shop and I discovered Element Shrub. People, this stuff is COOL. And TASTY. Shrub, as I learned is a fruit preservation method that was popular in the colonial era.
Element recommends adding sparkling water to the shrub, creating a flavor that is complex and refreshing,with savory notes for a fruity, spicy drink. You can add sparking water, alcohol, teas, whatever strikes your fancy. Each flavor was interesting and well developed, my favorites being the Chia Pear and Honeydew Jalapeno. Both are unique and extremely versatile. Now I really want to have a shrub cocktail party.
But Ah Love Olive Oils doesn’t stop with consumable olive oils, they have a skin care line with olive oil soap; olive oil lip balm; olive oil moisturizers. Be sure to check them out!