My home town of Rochester, New York, was once home to Frederick Douglass and Susan B Anthony, the Fortune 500 Hundred Super Powers Kodak and Xerox, and booming factories along the Genesee River. Now, the city is a shadow of its former self. But new life is beginning to emerge from the city tucked between the Genesee River and Lake Ontario. Rochester is home to an amazing wine, produce, and oil industry! Less than 20 miles southeast of Rochester is the city of Canandaigua. Part of the Finger Lakes region, Canandaigua, hosts amazing winerys (http://www.canandaiguawinetrail.com/) such as my favorite, Casa Larga and unique little shops that highlight the region’s produce.
On my last trip home, I visited with my uncle and aunt, who although eat a plant-based diet, always have the latest kitchen gadgets and cooking accoutrements. I greeted them with my favorite dark chocolate caramels with sea salt, from my favorite Rochester Candy Institution, Stever’s Candy (http://www.steverscandy.com/) and they in turn introduced me to a new staple in their home- F. Oliver’s Oils and Vinegars (http://www.folivers.com/index.html)! My uncle allowed me to sample the pineapple balsamic vinegar and I was amazed! It could be drizzled on dessert, added to champagne, tossed in a salad or added to my favorite chicken recipe… simply delicious! The next day my mother and I drove to the F. Oliver’s location on Park Ave, while looking for apartments (I may be relocating back to NY while I complete my dissertation). Although it was difficult navigating how to enter the store, due to limited street parking which was exacerbated by all of the snow that had been plowed in an inconvenient way, the outside of the shop was lovely… especially because it was connected to a bakery. That was a win-win!
Upon entering the store, my mother and I noticed that the vinegars and oils were stored in beautiful vistas of fustis, which were gleaming tanks crafted in Italy specifically for the storage and dispensing of the freshest oils and vinegars. The young lady in the shop that day was extremely friendly and allowed us the opportunity to taste every flavor of oil and vinegar that we desired, despite arriving to the store five minutes to closing.
The flavor infused Extra Virgin Olive Oils included:
Cilantro with Golden Roasted Onion
French Accent Tarragon
Fresh Bright Basil
Fresh Pressed Blood Orange
Fresh Pressed Meyer Lemon
Fresh Pressed Persian Lime
Garden Fresh Gremolata
herbes de Provance
Petit Beurre (Little Butter)
Sage with Wild Harvest Mushroom
In addition to the flavor infused oils, the store also sells speciality oils such as: Earthy porcini, Finger Lakes Fabulous Squash Seed Oil, Finger Lakes-Good for You Grape Seed Oil, Roasted French Walnut Oil, and White Truffle Oil.
The store also sells an extensive array of aged and flavor-infused balsamic vinegars imported from Italy. Their special reserve balsamic is aged eighteen years to ensure a rich, complex, and smooth taste. Yummy!
The flavor-infused balsamic vinegars include:
12 Year Old Dark
12 Year Old White
Autumn Cinnamon Pear
Felix Oliver’s Special 18 Year Old Reserve
Fragrant Vanilla Bean
Ginger Spiked Blackberry
Orchard Ripe Red Apple
Sweet Rich Cherry
I’m going to begin saving my pennies! I plan on purchasing 32 bottles ASAP and using them to further develop my recipes and even plan on trying a few of their recipes (http://www.folivers.com/recipes.html#Coconut). I am excited to use both the EVOO and balsamics, as well as support a local business.
With a Servant’s heart and hands,
The Ebullient Epicurean