Fun fact: When you tell your friends and coworkers that you have some gourmet oils and vinegars for them to taste test, here’s what you never hear: “Aww, gee, I’d rather not.”
I used sourdough bread for the taste test which was a good choice – the slight tanginess brings out the sweetness in the vinegars. I also brought along some havarti since the creamy earthiness works as a palate cleanser. Also havarti = yum.
Including me, there were 9 taste testers. With 2 oils and 2 vinegars, there are 4 flavour combinations. And the results were…
4 votes: Walnut oil + Cinnamon pear dark balsamic (plate b). Comments: Delicious. A bit like spice cake. The nut, spice, and fruit flavours don’t compete with each other. A bit chocolatey. Especially good with cheese. Best-looking combo (white oil, dark vinegar).
3 votes: Extra virgin olive oil with blood oranges + Cinnamon pear dark balsamic (plate d). Comments: The citrusy olive oil goes well with the spice of the cinnamon.
2 votes: Extra virgin olive oil with blood oranges + Pumpkin spice white balsamic (plate c). Comments: Sweet and tart. You have to like citrus to like this combo.
0 votes: Walnut oil + Pumpkin spice white balsamic (plate a). (Cue sad trombone.) Comments: Plain looking (white oil, white vinegar). Taste is reminiscent of white wine. Tart and fruity.
Although it got zero first-place votes, the walnut + pumpkin combo received two honourable mentions among the taste testers, including an engineer who wanted me to specify that his vote was two-thirds for walnut/cinnamon, and one-third for walnut/pumpkin. One must be precise about these things.
Thank you to the taste testers for bravely volunteering your taste buds!