I’ve said it before, but I’ll say it again – it’s such an exciting time for 104 Street! Cask & Barrel opened earlier this year, Pangea continues to improve its inventory, and Roast Coffeehouse is well on its way – the Promenade is really becoming the place to be for Edmontonians who appreciate good food and drink. The newest shop on the street, Evoolution, is another great addition home cooks will want to visit. It opened on May 18, but Mack and I finally had some time to explore the shop last week.
Evoolution took over a storefront previously occupied by a tanning salon, and replaced it with an oasis of fine oils and vinegars. Their renovations have transformed the space into an inviting room where tasting products is not only welcome, but encouraged.
Gorgeous tins from Italy line the shelves, housing a dozen different single-origin varietals of extra virgin olive oil and vinegars, as well as flavoured oils and vinegars. Tasting notes, pairings, and the crush dates are written clearly above each vessel, but patrons are encouraged to give them a try themselves. We were advised not to test more than four varietals, lest we overwhelm our palate.
Olive oil varietals
Mack and I tried a few, and had to admit that we never really noticed the grassy and peppery notes in olive oil before. We settled on a small bottle of the organic Chemlali from Tunisia, which seemed milder than some of the others we had sampled.
We liked the pricing scheme, which was uniform regardless of the evoo or vinegar chosen – $12 for 200mL, $18 for 375mL and $29 for 750mL. Evoolution offers a 10% discount if patrons bring a bottle back for a refill (though I can imagine getting those narrow bottles clean would be no easy task).
Evoolution also sells other specialty oils (such as walnut and truffle), salts, and very soon, will start to carry spices from Calgary-based Silk Road.
Always interested in programming, I asked if Evoolution would be organizing more formal tasting classes soon. It sounds like small private tastings are available to be booked, but nothing yet for the public. I also hope they consider collaborating with other businesses in the area – I think a natural pairing would be a tasting of their oils with breads from Dauphine across the street.
I also asked if Evoolution would consider carrying locally-sourced, cold-pressed canola oils (or even Mighty Trio, which makes some fine hemp and flaxseed oils). It sounds like they want to maintain their focus on extra virgin olive oils, but perhaps they might reconsider this in the future!
Given Evoolution is just down the street from where we live, we will be back to give some of their vinegars a taste on another day. If you’re in the neighbourhood, definitely consider paying them a visit.
10130 104 Street
Monday-Friday 10am-7pm, Saturday 9am-7pm, Sunday 12-5pm