**This giveaway is now closed and no longer accepting entries. The winner will be selected and announced on Monday morning, February 15.**
We interrupt our normal Tasty Tuesday programming for…our first giveaway! That’s right, in celebration of the 100th post here on Domestic Adventure, I’m here to say thank you to my loyal readers and friends by giving you the chance to win something fabulous.
In usual Tasty Tuesday fashion, I’m bringing you something straight from my kitchen, with the help of Fiore Artisan Olive Oils and Vinegars, a remarkable local business.
So, if you’re like I was a few months ago then you are saying, “really, Erin, oil and vinegar? Fabulous?” I know, but have I ever led you astray? Trust me on this one.
After hearing rave reviews about this new store in Bar Harbor, Maine, my Crisco, ranch dressing and butter-loving husband wandered in to see what all of the fuss was about. Much to his surprise, Nancy from Fiore soon had him tasting flavorful oils (like Tuscan herb) and vinegars (like 18-year-aged balsamic) and he was a convert. He left with a bottle of each, packaged up as a surprise for yours truly.
When I opened the gift and heard the story, the thought of Chris enjoying and appreciating the fine flavors had me laughing in disbelief. But he was serious. He was already planning meals that involved marinating in the balsamic and flavoring with the oil. All of this won me over, all over again!
I quickly made use of the oil in my vegetable stir fry and pizza dough, and I drenched my salads and fresh vegetables with my vinegar. It wasn’t long before I wanted to learn more, so I stopped in to Fiore and checked it all out for myself.
The in-store experience is amazing, complete with warm colors reminiscent of an Italian kitchen and a relaxed wine-tasting vibe. Tasting is highly encouraged, and I took it upon myself to try drops from all 24 flavors. Education is a key part of the shopping experience at Fiore, so I soaked it all in. Here’s what I learned:
Grocery store oil no more
Exposure to oxygen detracts from the quality and taste of the olive oil, so the minute the oil is bottled it starts losing its charm. (It makes you wonder how long the olive oil sits on grocery store shelves!) To maintain the integrity of their oils, the folks at Fiore store the product in large air-tight stainless steel canisters (called a fusti) and bottle the product at the time of purchase. That’s right; all of those bottles lined up are empty until you ask for one to be filled!
Furthermore, Fiore’s supply comes from a family with a 70-year history of harvesting oils from all over the world, so the degree of separation from tree to bottle is practically nil.
Fused vs. Infused?
A lot of store-bought flavored oils are described as infused, which means flavor has been added after the fact. Fiore’s oils are fused with flavor, which means that garlic, lemon or blood oranges have been pressed with the olives, forever fusing the flavors together.
Older is better (when it comes to vinegar, that is)
Did you know that vinegar has to be aged for at least 12 years in order to be called balsamic? I didn’t. So, what does it mean when you buy a bottle of “young” balsamic at the store? I’m not sure, but I’d rather not find out any more. I’m never turning back from my 18-year-aged balsamic vinegar.
Not just for cooking
I’ve only ever considered using olive oil and vinegar for cooking, but I learned otherwise at Fiore! Shop employees raved about cocktails made with peach balsamic vinegar (which tastes more like syrup!), pancakes made with lemon olive oil (my stomach is growling) and brownies made with blood orange olive oil (sign me up!).
As a beginner cook, these fresh unfiltered oils and balsamic vinegars have added a whole new dimension to my repertoire, and given me a whole new appreciation of fine flavors. When I told everyone at Fiore that I wanted to share my experience with all of you, they kindly agreed to send one lucky winner a “beginner set” just like mine!
What you’ll win: One lucky reader will be the recipient of bottle of Tuscan Herb Extra Virgin Olive Oil and a bottle of 18-Year-Aged Balsamic Vinegar.
Who’s eligible: Anyone…even you, Mom! And yes, Janis in Scotland could win because the Fiore folks are nice enough to ship anywhere.
How to Play: Leave a comment on this post and tell me what you’re enjoying about Domestic Adventure and what you’d like to see more of in the next 100 posts.
For a second, third or fourth chance to win, do one of the following (remember to leave a second, third or fourth comment after each action!):
- Tweet about this giveaway on Twitter and leave another comment with your Twitter handle
- Become a fan on Facebook and leave another comment saying you did so. If you’re already a fan, go ahead and leave a comment saying that you are.
- Become an email subscriber of Domestic Adventure and leave yet another comment saying you did so. Again, if you’re already getting updates in your inbox, just comment and tell me that!
Entries for the giveaway will be accepted through 8 p.m. EST on Friday, February 12. A winner will be selected randomly (using random.org) and the winner will be announced on Monday morning, February 15.
P.S. Be sure to check out Fiore Artisan Olive Oils and Vinegars online and on Facebook! While Fiore’s focus is the amazing selection of oils and vinegars, they also carry a selection of specialty foods like Vidalia Onion Mustard, Pesto and Balsamic Jams from Italy, Brittles from Napa Valley and gift ideas like cruets and dipping bowls. New to Fiore this week is their White Truffle Oil…sounds delicious!