If you’ve paid attention to any blog posts I’ve done about food, you’ll know that I’m a less than ideal cook.
But I make up for it in my love for eating, even if it turns out out a little different from how it’s supposed to.
When Zucchi invited me to take part in their Blending Experience session at Aria Ristorante, I was cautious. Okay, I love Italian food it seems right up my alley…but then, can I really pull of blending oils on my own? I didn’t totally know what I was in for, but I’m glad I went!
Not related to the oils, but Aria is a gorgeous restaurant and I 100% think you should check it out if you’re ever downtown Toronto and needing a place – it’s right beside the ACC.
Now, onto the blending experience!
Now, I thought there was going to be bread or something to test the oils so imagine my surprise when there were these little shot-type glasses for us to sample the oil with! It was a process – that was lead by the oil masters from Zucchi. There was a method to everything we did, which I found really interesting.
We tried each oil separately, first by warming it up in our hands, then sniffing (basically inhaling) to see if we could distinguish the notes, and then we sipped. But we had to let air get to it as well so we had to suck in air as we did it – I know it sounds silly, but it was explained much better than I can!
I was shock at how different each of the oils tasted!
Before this event, I truly thought all oils tasted the same. And I’m sure you do. But yup, very wrong. Every single one tasted totally different and even at the end, when we started to blend our own oils, the mixtures tasted so different depending on what ones were used.
Each of the oils was from a different region as well – Crete, Arbequina, Sicily and Spain. My fave (and I would say the post popular of the day) was from Arbequina!
Creating my own oil was fun but my goodness do you have to be careful. Giovanni Zucchi, Blend Master and VP, taught us that there’s a saying in Italy that one plus one doesn’t always equal too. So, just because you like A and B, doesn’t mean it’s going to be yummy. The bottles that we got to make were 250 ml and I would say mine is 70% B, 20% D, and a splash of C. It tasted good in the end, and now it’s sealed and ready for me to enjoy.
We relaxed, chatted with the amazing people from Zucchi, enjoyed some vino and tasty treats.
My favourite was the octopus and potato, which I had never tried before and did not see coming. I’ve realized that most of the events I go to offer food that I normally wouldn’t order so I should just start embracing what’s offered and try new things…even if the tentacles pop in my mouth.
Overall, it was a great afternoon.
I learned so much, left with a completely unique oil and a yummy treat bag, and had delicious food with the most interesting people. If you ever see one of these Blending Experiences pop up near you, I high recommend going!