Halifax is home to a lovely wee shop redolent with the flavours of warm sunny climes.
Liquid Gold is a charming small olive oil/balsamic vinegar tasting bar found in the Hydrostone Market on Young street. They also have online ordering for some of their wonderful oils and vinegars.
The oils and vinegars here are excellent and are kept in metal containers called “fusti.” They are grouped in flavours from very mild to strong. One starts with the gentler ones and works up to the more robust flavours using small spoons or tiny cubes of bread to sample them. You can even mix the various oils and vinegars in tiny cups to make dressings.This time of year, the oils come from all over the Mediterranean. Spain, Greece, Italy, France…and the vinegars hail from Modena in Italy. The oils are pure, single fruits called cultivars or are cultivars that have been flavoured with yummy partners. In spring/summer, the oils come from the southern hemisphere where the winter crop is harvested between May and July. In the fall & winter, they come from the Mediterranean. I was in heaven!
Myrna Burlock opened the business with Bill MacArthur in September and business is booming. She is an invaluable source of info as one tries to decide what to buy.
Each oil has a card describing where it came from and the flavour profile (very much like a wine) as well as the IOCC standard for it.
FFA: Measure of free acidity that indicates decomposition.
EVOO: must be less than 0.8
OLEIC ACID: A monosaturated Omega-9 fatty acid. It makes up 55-83% of EVOO.
PV: Peroxide value. A measure of rancidity due to oxidization. Must be less than 20, less than 10 for high quality extra virgin olive oil.
Myrna told a story of a husband who brought his foodie wife here for her birthday. He brought a bottle of wine which they opened and a lovely afternoon was spent here sampling all the combinations of flavours. I mean…look at them and those are just some of the oils!
I adored the balsamic vinegars. One of my all time faves was the chocolate balsamic! Really! Remember I said you could mix? I tried blood orange olive oil with the chocolate balsamic, amazing! The vinegars almost taste like liqueurs. There were organic varieties to choose from too.
So what did I choose? It was difficult but I figured it out. I went for the Koroneiki , a strong green olive oil from Greece. It was one of the robust flavours near the end of the line.
Oh and if you are lucky, you might get to meet Riley, the resident napper if you pop by for a visit.