We went to Stillwater this weekend and stopped at the Stillwater Olive Oil Company where you can taste several different kinds of olive oil and balsamic vinegars. Let me tell you there is a world of difference between the really good olive oil and balsamic vinegar and the regular stuff you buy at the store.
I don't usually like either. But one taste and I wanted to buy one of every thing! I think that we could have easily spent a couple hundred dollars there. Instead we got one nice bottle of olive oil, a nice bottle of 18 year old balsamic vinegar and a small bottle of blood orange flavored olive oil (We are big fans of Blood Oranges in our household) and a dark chocolate balsamic vinegar. If you bring back your bottle (cleaned of course) when you go back to buy more you get $1 off your ourchase. It is kind of fun, you pick out what you want, then pick out the size and they fill up the bottle, label and put one of those shrink wrap sleeves on the cork.
I didn't really think about it before but until you are looking for a recipe with balsamic vinegar, you don't notice that it is not really one of the ingredients that they have listed in the index.
It will be interesting to see how different the recipes taste with really good olive oil.
We also shopped for soup bowls, for our 52 soups in 52 weeks project. Who would have thought that finding unique soup bowls would be so hard?