In the Warehouse District, a block north of Jasper on 104 St, there’s a relatively new store called Evoolution. (EVOO = Extra Virgin Olive Oil… get it?) They sell flavoured and unflavoured olive oils, some other specialty oils, a wide range of balsamics, and some other odds and ends that are probably really cool even though I didn’t really pay attention to them.
As soon as I walked in the store, a staff member invited me to start sampling the products. Each oil is in a vat with a little spigot, and they provide little cups so you can pour out a little oil and/or vinegar. Then you can either drink it straight up (which seems pretty hard core) or you can take a cube of french bread for dipping.
It’s fun trying different flavour combos, and they have cards by each vat recommending combos for you to try.
I can attest to the Evoolution staff being both knowledgeable and polite even when you ask dumb questions like what is balsamic made from. (Answer: grapes. Which is completely obvious once I thought about it. Grapes -> wine -> vinegar.) The staff are the perfect combo of being welcoming and helpful, and then getting out of your way so you can explore the products.
In the end I bought two oils: walnut, and blood-orange infused olive oil. And two vinegars: cinnamon pear dark balsamic, and pumpkin spice white balsamic. Each 200 mL bottle is $12, except for the walnut oil which is $14. They’re definitely not cheap but they’re high quality and they’re luscious – I can’t think of a better word for them. They’re worth the splurge, and I already want to go back for more. (I tried, but didn’t buy, a red apple flavoured balsamic, and I can’t stop thinking about it. Must go back and get!)
I’ll post the results of some taste tests in the next couple days. In the meantime, here’s a delicious preview: