I have designated Toasted sesame oil one of my kitchen staples/essentials. It's an ingredient that can turn basic steamed veggies into an aromatic, taste bud explosion and for that reason, it's my current, and potentially life-long, obsession. However, there is one major flaw in this simple set up...where to get sesame oil. Now you can get it at most grocery stores, but I am looking for toasted sesame oil, not the regular oil. This week I used up the last of my remaining toasted sesame oil and was disappointed to not find it at any of the grocery stores I went to. So I resigned to being without it for a while and committed to find a reliable source. On an unrelated mission, Pb and I headed out to the Hydrostone in Halifax (click here for more info) looking for home decor inspiration. The Hydrostone market is a block wide row of cool little stores including a bakery, a cafe, a bistro and an oil and vinegar store. Bingo. The store is called "Liquid Gold Tasting Bar and all things olive" and is a foodie mecca and a half. An array of vessels with "do it yourself" sample taps caused extreme excitement which was compounded by the soft white bread cubes we could use for said sampling. Blueberry balsamic, cinnamon pear balsamic, Tuscan herb olive oil, the list goes on.....and included roasted (aka toasted) sesame oil. With some assistance from the staff due to a tap malfunction, we were presented with small sample. we were instructed to smell it. KAPOW!!! wowsers, incredible aroma.....this is the mother of all sesame oils. I tasted some but knew they had me at roasted. We bought a small bottle along with some aged balsamic vinegar and tuscan herb olive oil.
When we got home, we tore into some crusty bread and soaked it in the classic oil and vinegar dip.....we devoured it, partly due to the wonderful taste and partly due to the fact we had not yet had lunch and it was 4pm, AND we had been to the gym on our way home.
Next on the sample/snack list was the Sesame oil. I mixed with some canola oil, some tamari sauce and drizzled over a ripe avocado with Mary's crackers on the side. So simple, so yummy, so perfect.
We will be back repeatedly to the oil and vinegar store to add to our collection very soon, I highly recommend it either for buying or just sampling and soaking up the experience. And to all my foodie friends reading this, please try to act surprised when I give you your next birthday gift.