Evilo Blog — Fig Dark Balsamic Vinegar

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Just a Few More Days 0

You've heard the saying...the best laid plans of mice and men often go awry.  We just wanted to let you know the shop will be closed a few more days while we complete updates to the facility.  As always, you can shop online to purchase all your favorite flavored and infused olive oils and balsamic vinegars.

If you haven't already tried our best selling olive oil, now is a great time.  Garlic Mushroom EVOO is a favorite of both staff and customers.  One of our regular customers described it like this, "The Garlic EVOO tastes like fresh, raw garlic, while the Garlic Mushroom EVOO tastes like a rich, roasted garlic."  That is the perfect description.  The mushrooms add a earthiness that takes the garlic to the next level of yumminess.  

Garlic Mushroom EVOO can be used tossed on pasta or vegetables, rubbed on steak, drizzled on popcorn, or as a bread dipper.  It pairs well with 25 Star Dark Balsamic, Fig Dark Balsamic, and Italian Lambrusco Red Wine vinegars.

Here is my favorite way to use it:

Cut up some fresh onions, carrots, sweet potatoes, Brussel sprouts, and any other veggies you like.  Do not dice them or cut into small pieces. Keep the pieces about 1".  Toss them in a Ziplock bag and drizzle in 1 or 2 tablespoons of Garlic Mushroom EVOO, and add some salt and pepper.  Toss vigorously, then spread in a single layer on a baking sheet lined with a silicone baking pad or parchment paper, and roast in the oven at 450F for 30-35 minutes.  Toss the veggies with cooked pasta and a little more Garlic Mushroom EVOO (if needed) and enjoy!

Flavors of the Week, November 1 0

 

 

 

This week's pairings provide lots of inspiration for your Thanksgiving menu planning.  From side dishes to entrees to desserts, we have a pairing for your holiday feast.

 

Pumpkin Pie Two Ways:  We've paired our Cinnamon Infused EVOO with both our white and dark Pumpkin Pie Spice Balsamic Vinegar.  All 3 of these can be used in baking or with roasted sweet potatoes, carrots, or winter squash.  Drizzle a little Pumpkin Pie Spice Balsamic Vinegar over your scones, muffins, cheese cake, or ice cream.

Harvest Pear:  Combine Rosemary EVOO and Pear White Balsamic for a memorable treat.  Baste your turkey with this heavenly pairing or use it as a dressing on a spinach salad.  Put a little of the Pear Balsamic Vinegar in your tea for an afternoon snack.

Fall Fig:  Add a little sophistication to your Thanksgiving Dinner with this pairing of White Truffle EVOO and Fig Dark Balsamic Vinegar.  These flavors will complement not only your turkey, but also roasted potatoes and vegetables.  They also taste great as a bread dipper.  

Raspberry Cobbler:  This pairing,  of Butter Infused EVOO and Raspberry Ginger White Balsamic Vinegar ,will warm you up on a crisp Fall day, assuming we got one.  This pairing will give an unexpected and delicious twist to your turkey.  You can also use Butter Infused EVOO in place of butter both at the table and in your cooking.  

Stop by the store this week for more ideas for your Thanksgiving Dinner.  We would love to help you find the perfect flavors for your holiday celebrations.

 

Flavors of the Week 10/10/12 0

 

As temperatures continue to cool outside, we’re bringing the heat at EvilO. This week we feature our Jalapeño White Balsamic Vinegar in 2 of our pairings. The jalapeño balsamic adds the natural sweetness of the vinegar to make this flavor extra special. We hope you love them as much as we do. Stop by the shop this week, and try them out.

Smoke and Fire: We’ve paired our Smokey Hickory EVOO and Jalapeño White Balsamic Vinegar for a smokey and spicy treat. This will taste great with anything you smoke or throw on the grill. A perfect addition to your weekend tailgating. For this weekend’s Octoberfest celebration, try this take on German potato salad.

Kicked Up German Potato Salad
(adapted from Five Heart Home)

2 pounds red potatoes, cut into 1/2-inch slices
12 ounces bacon, cut into 1” pieces
2 tablespoons Smokey Hickory EVOO
1/3 cup Jalapeno White Balsamic Vinegar
3 tablespoons sugar
1 tablespoon dijon mustard
1/2 teaspoon salt
fresh cracked black pepper, to taste
3 cloves garlic, minced
1/2 cup fresh parsley, finely chopped


1. Preheat oven to 400F. Toss potatoes with EVOO. Spread on baking sheet in a single layer, and roast for 20 minutes. Remove from oven and set aside.
2. In a large pot over medium heat, cook the bacon until crispy. Remove bacon with slotted spoon, leaving bacon grease in the pot.
3. Remove pot from heat and slowly add vinegar, sugar, mustard, salt, and pepper to the bacon grease. Stir to combine. Return pot to heat and bring to a simmer. Simmer for a couple minutes, then add garlic. Cook garlic for 1 minute.
4. Remove pot from heat and add roasted potatoes. Gently stir until all of the liquid is absorbed. Add bacon and parsley and gently stir until combined.
5. Transfer to serving dish and serve warm.


Tuscan Fig: Our best-selling Tuscan Herb EVOO is the perfect match for our Fig Dark Balsamic Vinegar. These 2 flavors complement each other, and will taste great for simply dipping bread, but will also make a great marinade. With bread dipping in mind, we suggest this recipe for a unique savory biscotti.

Tuscan Herb Biscotti
(adapted from A Family Feast)


1 1/2 cups all purpose flour
1/2 cup fine corn meal
1/2 cup grated Parmesan cheese
1/2 cup walnuts, chopped
2 teaspoons freshly cracked black pepper
2 teaspoons fresh rosemary, finely chopped
1/2 teaspoon fresh thyme, finely chopped
1/4 teaspoon garlic powder
2 large eggs
1/2 cup granulated sugar
1/3 cup Tuscan Herb EVOO
Fig Dark Balsamic Vinegar

1. Preheat oven to 375F. Line a large baking sheet with parchment paper or silicon baking sheet.
2. In a large bowl, sift together flour, corn meal, and baking powder. Stir in Parmesan, walnuts, pepper, rosemary, thyme, and garlic powder. Mix until well-blended.
3. Whisk together eggs, sugar, and EVOO until well-combined. Add wet ingredients to dry ingredients and stir to form a dough. Turn out dough on a lightly floured surface and shape into two logs (~ 10” x 3”). Transfer to baking sheet and press slightly to flatten.
4. Bake 20 to 25 minutes. Remove from oven and cool on the baking sheet for ~15 minutes.
5. Reduce oven temperature to 300F. Carefully transfer logs to a cutting board. Using a serrated knife, slice each log crosswise, on a slight diagonal into 1/2-inch slices. Return slices to baking sheet, laying them on their sides.
6. Bake for 10 to 12 minutes. Remove from oven and carefully turn each slice to the other side. Bake for another 10 to 12 minutes. Cool for 5 minutes on baking sheet. Remove to wire rack and cool completely.
7. Drizzle with Fig Dark Balsamic to serve.


Kickin’ Margarita: This pairing of Persian Lime EVOO and Jalapeño White Balsamic Vinegar will work with a variety of Tex-Mex dishes. Try this salsa recipe to snack on while you watch football this weekend.

Black Bean Salsa
(adapted from The Blond Cook)

1 (15-ounce) can yellow whole kernel corn, drained
1 (15-ounce) can black beans, drained and rinsed
1 cup red onion, chopped
2 cups Roma tomatoes, chopped
1/3 cup jalapeno, seeded and chopped
1/4 cup fresh cilantro, shopped
1/4 cup Jalapeno White Balsamic Vinegar
1/2 teaspoon cumin
2 tablespoons Persian Lime EVOO
1/2 teaspoon, salt
1/2 teaspoon pepper


1. Add all ingredients to a large bowl, and stir to combine.
2. Serve with tortilla chips.


Caprese: Our Basil EVOO and 25 Star Dark Balsamic Vinegar bring you the classic Caprese flavors. Perfect for creating your own Caprese Salad at home.

Caprese Pasta Salad
(adapted from Pip and Ebby)


1 (16-ounce) box of Rotini pasta, cooked and drained
8 ounces cherry tomatoes, halved
1 (8-ounce) container of fresh Mozzarella pearls
1/2 cup fresh basil, chopped
1/4 cup pesto
3 tablespoons Basil EVOO
2 tablespoons 25 Star Balsamic Vinegar
salt and pepper, to taste

1. In a large bowl, combine all ingredients.
2. Cover and chill for at least 1 hour.
3. Serve cold or chilled.

What About Vinegar? 0

We’ve discussed our rich and smooth olive oils, but what about our flavorful vinegars? There’s a lot to love about our large selection of flavored and infused and vinegars. Chances are we have a variety for you to fall in love with.


How is it Made?

Making vinegar involves a 2-part process. It starts with a liquid containing natural sugar, such as grape juice, apple cider, or coconut sap . The addition of yeast changes the sugars to alcohol. This is called alcoholic fermentation. Next, a bacteria called Acetobacter is added to the liquid. It changes the alcohol to acetic acid. The product is now considered vinegar.

What’s So Special About Balsamic Vinegar?

Balsamic vinegar originated in Modena, Italy and was first mentioned in the Royal Archives of Emperor Henry II in 1046. Because of their high sugar content, only Lambrusco or Trebbiano grapes are used to make balsamic vinegar.
Using ancient, traditional methods, carefully selected Lambrusco or Trebbiano grapes are pressed to produce “must”. Next, the must is simmered in copper cauldrons until it is reduced to 40 to 70%. The concentrated must is transferred to casks made of chestnut, cherry, ash, oak, mulberry, and juniper. The must is left to age for at least 12 years. As it ages, some of the liquid evaporates and some is absorbed into the cask. At intervals of 12, 18, or 25 years, the reduced liquid is moved into a smaller barrel and the new must is used to top off another barrel.

Traditional Balsamic Vinegar

Traditionally produced balsamic vinegar is regulated by the European Union Protected Designation of Origin (PDO) certification and Italy’s Denominazione di Origine Controllata (DOC). To obtain DOC and PDO certification, balsamic vinegar must be produced in Modena or Reggio Emilla from Trebbiano or Lambrusco grapes grown in Modena or Reggio Emillia. It must be aged a minimum of 12 years and approved by the two consortia. Only a small amount is produced each year and is bottled in unique 100 ml bottles. It costs between $75 and $120 per bottle.

Balsamic Vinegar of Modena

This type of balsamic vinegar certified by the European Union Protected Geographical Indication (PGI). Balsamic Vinegar of Modena is made by mixing concentrated or cooked grape must and wine vinegar (wine vinegar is NOT used in traditional balsamic vinegar). This blend is then aged in wooden casks. PGI certifies balsamic vinegars of Modena at a minimum of 2 months or at 3 years. Only grapes from Lambrusco, Sangiovese, Trebbiano, Albana, Ancellotta, Fortana and Montuni vines can be used. Also, a minimum amount of 10% wine vinegar, aged at least 10 years, can be used. All vinegars with the PGI logo must be approved by third party auditors of the PGI.

Balsamic Vinegars at EvilO

We offer a 25 Star Balsamic vinegar from Modena, Italy. It is made especially for our supplier by one of the best artisan producers in Modena. This producer began making balsamic vinegar in 1889. It is considered a Balsamic Vinegar of Modena, although it does not have PGI certification (due to being marketed by a US wholesaler from a US facility to multiple stores). It does not include any thickeners, sweeteners, or low-grade vinegar. Our 25 Star Balsamic vinegar is used in many of our flavored vinegars.

Dark Balsamic vs. White Balsamic

At EvilO, we offer a selection of both white and dark balsamic vinegars. Both are made from the same grapes, but white balsamic is simmered carefully at a lower temperature to prevent caramelization and is often aged for less time. White balsamic features a lighter and cleaner taste. Dark balsamic tastes sweeter and richer.

Peruse the following lists and check out all the delicious flavors we offer at EvilO. Make your own list and come down and try a few (or try them all!).

Dark Balsamic Vinegars

Pecan Praline: A rich and sinful delight in our 25 Star Balsamic Vinegar. Drizzle over ice cream or baked apples. Pairs well with our butter infused EVOO or coconut or chocolate balsamic vinegar.
Vanilla: Another delicious flavor to drizzle over ice cream. Use to flavor glazes and icings or pour a little in your morning oatmeal. Pairs well with blood orange, butter, chipotle, Meyer lemon, or Persian lime EVOO.
Bordeaux Cherry: sweet and tart! Reminiscent of brandied cherries. A great choice on salads featuring feta, goat, or blue cheese. Also a great addition to sauces and glazes. Pair with Persian lime EVOO for a cherry limeade flavor.
Espresso: Perfect for every coffee lover, this balsamic vinegar makes a great marinade or rub for steaks. It’s also delicious added to brownies or chocolate cake. Drizzle over ice cream. Pairs well with blood orange or chipotle EVOO.
Fig: Imparts a nutty and semi-sweet flavor. Perfect on salads or as a bread dipper. Pairs well with blood orange, chipotle, garlic, Meyer lemon, or Tuscan herb EVOO.
Garlic: Makes the most delicious marinade. Pair with Smoked Hickory EVOO for grilled or roasted meat and vegetables. Also yummy on salads.   

Garlic Cilantro:  Tastes delicious in all your favorite Tex-Mex dishes.  Drizzle over tacos, taco salads, guacamole, or salsa.  Use as a marinade for fajita meat.

Hickory: Rich, sweet, and smokey. Makes an ideal marinade for grilled meats and as your secret ingredient in baked beans. Pairs well with garlic and Persian lime EVOO.
Lavender: A lovely delicate and floral vinegar. Drizzle over cheeses, salads, grilled meats, or veggies. Pairs well with rosemary, basil, or herbes de Provence EVOO.
25 Star: Dark, thick, and sweet. Drizzle over steaks, tomato and mozzarella salad, bruscetta, or any grilled veggies.
8 Star: Crisper and lighter than 25 Star. The perfect accompaniment for fresh fruits and veggies.

White Balsamic Vinegars

Blueberry: Sweet like blueberries. This vinegar is ideal for salads or drizzled over cheeses. Pairs well with Meyer lemon or butter infused EVOO.
Coconut: A tropical treat! Drizzle over fresh fruit, white fish, ice cream or sorbet. Use in salad dressings or marinades. Pairs well with Persian lime or Meyer lemon EVOO.
Jalapeno: Sweet and sassy! For those who like a little heat and a little sweet. Ideal for marinades. Pairs well with blood orange, chipotle, garlic, or Persian lime EVOO.
Lemongrass Mint: light and refreshing. You’ll love this white balsamic vinegar on shrimp, lamb, rice, salads, and marinades. Highlights any Asian dish. Pairs well with basil or garlic EVOO.
Orange: Like a sweet, juicy orange. A great vinegar for salad dressings, drizzled over ice cream, or as a glaze. Pair with butter infused EVOO.
Peach:  Tastes like a ripe, juicy peach.  Absolutely delicious in salad dressings and in marinades for poultry or pork.  Pairs well with jalapeño or Persian lime EVOO.

Pear: A fruity delight. Add to salads or marinades. Pairs well with smoked hickory, basil, or chipotle EVOO.
Pineapple: This sweet, tropical vinegar is great in marinades, on salads, or drizzled over ice cream. Delicious when paired with chipotle, Persian lime, or jalapeño EVOO. Also pairs well with coconut balsamic vinegar.
Pumpkin Pie Spice: Evokes the flavors and scents of Fall. Add to tea, coffee, martinis, or milkshakes. Also a great addition to pancakes, oatmeal, or muffins. Pairs well with Picual or Cinnamon EVOO.
Honey Ginger: A flavorful choice for Asian or grilled dishes. Also good in salad dressings. Pairs well with Meyer lemon or garlic EVOO.
Raspberry Ginger: Refreshing and crisp, this vinegar is the perfect accompaniment for fresh fruit, pancakes, and salads. Pairs well with blood orange EVOO.

Strawberry:  My favorite white balsamic vinegar.  Super sweet with a bit of tartness.  Tastes great on a spinach salad or paired with the jalapeño EVOO.  I add a bit to water or iced tea for incredible flavor.

Specialty Vinegars

Serrano Chile Honey: Another sweet and spicy offering. Made with small batch honey from 5th generation beekeeper in the Pacific Northwest. You'll love this vinegar in salad dressings, sauces, and marinades. Pairs well with blood orange and Persian lime EVOO.
Lambrusco: This is a delicious red wine vinegar made from the long, natural maturation of Lambrusco wine. Aged in oak barrels for an unmistakable flavor. An EvilO favorite. Perfect with steak and in salad dressings.