For Santa Cruz Food Blog Readers … Three relatively new “tastings” to try in Santa Cruz:
- True Olive Connection • Olive Oil & Vinegar Tastings
- Nut Kreations • Nut Tasting
- Santa Cruz Food Tours • Local Food Tasting
Wine always tastes better when you are out tasting it. The same goes for olive oils, vinegars and pretty much everything else (sample nuts next door @ Nut Kreations too). I guess the taste seems more pure when you are out tasting, without distractions from the other food and small talk at a dinner party (does it have anything to do with it being free, hm, maybe). At that instant you taste something, when that taste is your one and only intent, you are alone with the flavors in your mouth, focusing solely on the potential flavor intensity. It’s about an experience. It is interactive and engaging, what you wish your entire educational experience could have been.
I love that there are so many new food experiences and unique food tasting opportunities popping up all over, like the tasting available at True Olive Connection and the new Santa Cruz Food Tours, both in Santa Cruz. Many of these tasting opportunities seem to be located in tourist towns that have a lot of foot traffic. Lucky for us (at least in this sense and many others of course), this describes Santa Cruz.
We’ve found that tasting a product before you buy it is a great way to open one up to new flavors that you may not have tried otherwise. At the True Olive Connection in downtown Santa Cruz we sampled many fused olive oils and vinegars on their own as well as together in suggested combinations (such as Chipotle Olive Oil + Blood Orange Extra Virgin Olive Oil on fish, chicken or summer salads).
One of the vinegars that was very intriguing was the Dark Chocolate Balsamic Vinegar because we figured it had some unique potential for drizzling on berries for a healthy dessert made with a great local product. We also bought little bottles as Santa Cruz-specific presents for out-of-town friends.
In the end we purchased smaller bottles of Olive Oil and vinegars so that we could have a variety to sample later on salads, meats, and desserts.
106 Lincoln Street
Santa Cruz, CA
* Awesome marinade or sauce for meat – Chipotle Olive Oil + Tangerine Balsamic.