By Brittany Tiplady
We have Europe to thank for the invention of olive oil and balsamic tasting bars. Now, olive oil specialty shops are popping up around Metro Vancouver and making quite the impression on curious foodies.
Artisanal olive oil shops don’t just have bottles of beautiful oils (and most also have a large selection of vinegars) on display, olive oil tastings bars present an interactive and educational experience. Customers can peruse the lineup of fustis, special stainless-steel jars that store olive oil and balsamics, and learn about the flavours, origins, and make of each oil and vinegar. Tasting olive oils offers a sensory experience for the consumer, bringing the flavour profile we usually read on a label right to your palate.
“Smaller boutique shops get people talking about traceability when it comes to olive oil. Shops like ours educate customers on who you are supporting, and the freshness of the oils; I fell in love with the business concept because of this education. I really enjoy it,” says Vancouver Olive Oil Company owner, Michael-Ann Dodds.
“We started educating the public on extra virgin olive oil and what to look for. When an oil has been made, you should be looking for a harvest date or a crushed date, and consuming the oil within a year of that time.”
Vancouver Olive Oil Company is the first olive oil tasting shop in British Columbia and since, the trend has continued to flourish throughout Vancouver and the Fraser Valley, fueling the farm-to-table food movement right down to the condiment.
Check out the list of artisanal olive oil specialty shops in Metro Vancouver:
The Vancouver Olive Oil Company
A family owned business and the first shop of its kind in the province. This Kitsilano staple has a vast selection of artisanal oils and vinegars to sample and purchase. My personal favourite: the wild mushroom and sage olive oil.
2571 West Broadway, Vancouver. Open Tuesday-Sunday.
Coastal Olive Oils
A South Delta gem that offers a full tasting room with a bevvy of flavours and varieties to sample and purchase.
1315 56 St Unit 121, Delta (Tsawwassen). Open seven days a week.
This Steveston staple is not just a butcher shop. Heringers offers a generous selection of artisanal olive oils to complete your shopping list in our place. No lineup of fustis for sampling here, but premium products available all the same.
190, 12251 No 1 Rd, Richmond. Open Tuesday to Saturday.
All of Oils-Wholesome Oils and Vinegars
This shop is at the helm of artisanal olive oil shops in the Fraser Valley. Check out their various locations for extra virgin olive oils, flavoured olive oils, speciality oils, balsamic vinegars, and flavoured vinegars. Added bonus: you’ll find many certified organic, gluten free, and kosher products on the shelves.
South Surrey location-#160-2940 King George Blvd.
Langley location-20450 Douglas Crescent.
Abbotsford location-#102A-2649 Trethewey St.
All locations open seven days a week.
Olives on Tap
Since opening in 2012, Olives on tap is the North Shores pioneer of artisanal olive oils and tastings, providing guests with a wealth of knowledge on their selection of premium extra virgin oils and vinegars.
928 16th St W, North Vancouver. Open Tuesday to Sunday.
Rain City Olives
Olive oil, like everything in 2017, is now available online. Rain City Olives is an e-commerce shop based in Vancouver that offers naturally fused and infused olive oil from all over the world. Shop online or find Rain City Olives at a local seasonal market.