A snowy November Saturday afternoon in Charlottetown—what to do before going out to get groceries? Oh, the olive oil place? Yes, we did want to go there, didn’t we? Okay, let’s go now. At Liquid Gold
, the friendly young woman with an elaborate, unfinished tattoo on her left arm instructs us to start with this metal cask, to taste the olive oils starting with the mild and to head toward the more robust. We take small white plastic spoons and turn the sprocket on the first cask, sip olive oil. Do you like this one? Yes, sort of, how about—oh, I don’t like this one. You see where it says it has a grassy centre? It’s very grassy—Well, you won’t like this one either—too peppery for you. And we make our way around the shop, my stomach reacting in surprise to little dollops of olive oil landing there one after another without bread or salad. Astonished by how much I dislike some of the flavours. Around us, the gourmets with elite tastes discuss with experts which oils will complement their dinner menus. He & I taste and frown and laugh and confer. Our palates are uneducated in the ways of olive oil but we respect them—we listen to their opinions. We move onto the flavoured oils—tarragon, herbes de provence, basil. We ask about a palate cleanser and are directed to a lemon balsalmic! Its taste excites my tongue…. The meyer lemon olive oil is lovely but after many little samples, we settle on persian lime—strong yet subtle. We buy the smallest size to share—it costs eleven dollars and on impulse I buy also a balsamic to dance with it: cranberry pear. This morning, decanting the oil, I shake my head thinking comical frugal thoughts: eleven dollars for a little less than a cup of olive oil
! Have I gone crazy?
But the smell is heaven. And tonight, I make an abundant salad of Italian greens, English cucumber, almonds, a fresh russet apple, cheddar cheese, and raisins. I pour over it one teaspoon of persian lime olive oil and one teaspoon of cranberry pear balsamic. And a shake of salt and pepper on top. I toss the salad well in a large metal bowl then turn it out into a shallow antique dish. And when I eat this fresh lovely poem, my taste buds say Yes!
in my cupboard