Friday, January 29, 2010

Vinaigrette- A New Specialty Store

Today I met two friends for breakfast and afterward we went on a foodie adventure. This is the kind of day I plan whenever I'm visiting a new area but don't take time often enough when I'm home.

We started at Vinaigrette, a new shop located at 50th and Xerxes in Minneapolis. It is an unusual store that basically only sells two foods- oil and vinegar. But not just any oil and vinegar.

When you walk in the door, you are facing four long narrow tables that contain metal barrels with spigots. Two of the tables feature extra virgin olive oils, starting with a mild flavored Egyptian oil and increasing in fruity flavor to end with a fruit-ful Italian. These oils are very fresh and fragrant. In addition, the store carries flavored oils such as roasted garlic, orange, oregano and truffle. I sampled the truffle oil. When I first smelled it, I thought I picked up the scent of garlic but after tasting the woodsy, earthy mushroom flavor of truffles came through.

It was even more fun to taste the vinegars. Flavors included pear balsamic, fig balsamic, cherry balsamic and aged balsamic. The combination of the fig balsamic and orange oil makes any salad greens sparkle. The balsamic di modena has been aged 18 years and is sweet and syrupy.

Each oil or vinegar can be purchased in three sizes. I purcahsed the smallest (5 ounces. I'ts great to be able to purchase a smaller bottle since our household of two can take a long time to finish a 16 ounces bottle.

The bottles are filled from the "barrels" and sealed with plastic. Tonight I'm drizzling a little aged balsamic over some blue cheese and whisking up a vinaigrette for the "house salad"- walnuts, cried cranberries and mixed greens.

Their web site is

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