A few years ago while visiting a friend in Florida we made a side-stop at at one of her favourite stores. It was an olive oil shop. Salads have never been the same. Neither have a lot of other culinary delights.
A selection of olive oils are most definitely an essential that my pantry cannot do without. Drizzle it over salad greens, add to a marinade, sprinkle over cooked pasta, use as a dip for bread, season your mashed potatoes with it instead of butter, it’s a mainstay without a doubt.
And, of course, one need not travel to Florida to find a fabulous shop that can supply fresh and infused olive oils from around the world.
Alex Yuen and Cheryl McMenemy opened the Collingwood Olive Oil Co in 2014. Alex, who grew up in town, was a chef for many years at his parents’ restaurant. When they decided to sell he moved on to a totally different career. Alex took on an accounting role at an area newspaper where his wife Cheryl was publisher.
Eventually, that industry began to slow as people turned to online news sources. The couple reassessed what they wanted to do. Friends of Cheryl introduced them to an olive oil shop they owned in St Catherines. Alex and Cheryl loved the idea and the rest, as they say, is history.
During my stop there a couple of weeks back I bought a Basil-infused Oil, an Italian Mango Balsamic and, needless to say, a couple of Christmas gifts.
Infused Olive Oils available here include Persian Lime, Chipotle, Blood Orange, Cilantro, and Rosemary among others. Don’t worry about making a poor choice, the tasting bar means you can sample before you buy.
You can also treat yourself, or someone you love, to gourmet oils like Roasted Avocado, Pumpkin Seed, Toasted Sesame or White Truffle.
In my house for every delicious olive oil there needs to be an enticing balsamic. They are, after all, partners in perfection.
Dark Balsamics include choices like Blackberry Ginger, Bourbon Maple, Expresso, Pomegranate, and Torino Chocolate.
Then there is the mouthwatering line-up of whole (pureed) fruit Balsamics that features Cranberry Pear Rosé, Mango, Plum, and Black Cherry.
Once you’ve made that difficult decision on your own perfect pairings don’t forget to have a look at the Dave’s Gourmet sauces and the Divina spreads, olives and roasted tomatoes. There are even chutneys, jams, hot sauces and aioli.
Collingwood Olive Oil Co has boxed gift sets and, impressively, a line of hair and body care products. You can easily scratch a few names off that Christmas list with gifts they will love.
You’ll find the Collingwood Olive Oil Co at 42 Ste Marie Street.
You can also shop on their website. You’ll even find great recipes there like Apple Pecan Salad, Garlic Mushroom Risotto, Balsamic Chili, Cheddar Cheese Beer Soup, and so many more.