Chef Chris and I have found a new favorite hang-out that we wanted to share. There’s a small oil & vinegar shop tucked away in the Clackamas Town Center, that has everything our foodie hearts could have desire, and more…
Oil & Vinegar is a culinary importer that brings together a wide range of international food and cooking products.
The shop has a distinct Mediterranean flair, and the shelves are stuffed with a cornucopia of imported delights.
Bottled oils and vinegars, mustards, sauces, salad dressings, olives, grilled vegetables, sun-dried tomatoes, honeys, fig spreads, fondue chocolates, dried herb mixes, spices and a variety of flavored pastas are all available, and many can be sampled.
The focal point of the store is the “amphora wall”, where an international selection of over 50 oils and vinegars are dramatically suspended in glass containers on a backlit wall.
You can even create your own custom blends…how cool is that?
To accent your gourmet tastes, a fine selection of ceramic table wares, cruets, kitchen accessories, salt/pepper mills, international cookbooks and other culinary accessories fill the shop. The owners at Oil & Vinegar pride themselves on offering the best local specialties from Italy, Spain, Greece, France, South Aftrica, Australia and other international origins.
Most of the products in the store are available for order from the Oil & Vinegar Portland website, as well.
Says owner, Dani Bohannon: “At Oil & Vinegar, we like to refer to our customers as our guests. Our #1 priority is to engage our guests in three key aspects: experience, service and adventure. Guests may sample products at their leisure and receive advice on product use and recipe ideas from our friendly and knowledgeable staff. All purchases may also be gift-wrapped on the spot for all your food loving friends.”
Everything about the shop’s design, atmosphere and sampling options turns shopping into a fun culinary experience. In our experience, the products at Oil & Vinegar reflect their focus on being passionate about taste and quality.
It’s a great place to shop for the foodies and cooks on you Christmas list this year, too!
Now, of course I had to pick up a few goodies in the name of “research” and let me tell ya, I’m awful glad I did. The Miscuglio Italian herb blend is simply the best tasting blend I’ve found. I’ve used it on everything from scrambled eggs to Braciole (Italian beef steak roll – see recipe), and it’s fantastic. The Spanish smoked paprika was another hit, and I’ve used it in several recipes, as well, it seriously takes a bbq dry rub to the next level!
Perhaps my favorite product (so far) was the Spirit of Africa Karoo Chili Chutney, which I picked up on Dani’s recommendation to make her Spirit of Africa Chili Chutney Wings (see recipe below.)
Reminiscent of a Thai Sweet Chili Sauce, if you backed off on the sweetness a bit and created a greater depth of savory flavors with the herbs and spices. Tons of garlic and coriander, with just the right touch of peppery warmth in the back of the throat, the chutney cooks down to a pleasantly thick, sticky glaze that is just amazing. This is my new favorite wings recipe, hands down.
Spirit of Africa Chili Chutney Wings
24 chicken wings, tips removed
1 cup Spirit of Africa Karoo Chili Chutney
Olive oil cooking spray
Preheat oven to 325 degrees.
Place wings in a single layer on a foil-covered cookie sheet (sprayed with olive oil) and bake for 20 minutes. Drain off drippings, and place wing in a large mixing bowl. Add chutney and toss well to coat.
Spread the wings back in the pan and return to the oven, baking until done 15 – 20 minutes.
So…yeah…if you’re looking for a place to get me stocking stuffers this Christmas, look no further! We’ll be featuring more products and recipes from Oil & Vinegar Portland, soon, and make sure to drop us a note when you visit the shop.
You can use my iPad…I’ll probably be there.
Oil & Vinegar was founded in the Netherlands in 1999. By 2002 the company had expanded internationally to the United Kingdom, Germany and Belgium. Today you can find over one hundred stores in ten countries spanning three continents.