Local olive oils and vinegars, sold by the ounce from large silver urns called fustinos, that’s the short version.
Long version: I’d walked by this shop several times in the past, never when they were open. It looked sparse inside, with lots of silver urns. I didn’t know how a specialty shop like this would make it.
But then I got to sample their wares at a local wine and food event called Taste of the Town, and I started to understand that they have a good product. Like a 25 year old balsamic vinegar that’s thick and tangy and sweet and an amazing price tag of $26 for 375 ml. Expect to pay upwards of $100 normally, and more if you want a DOP variety.
And even tougher if they weren’t going to be open on Sundays, which was the day I was most likely to have time to make the trip to that area. Well, this Sunday past, we drove by and the door was open!! We zipped right in and discovered they’re now open on Sundays. Yay!
All the fustinos have spigots, so you can sample whatever you want. These containers are air tight, and keep the oils away from light, so they stay fresh. The oils are mostly olive, and mostly produced locally or within California. Only a few highly specialized items, like the truffle infused oil or the 25 year balsamic, come from elsewhere.
The vinegar section had a lovely range as well. Pomegranate vinegar, pear vinegar, champagne vinegar, all delicious.
We bought a bottle of the 25 year balsamic, and a very small bottle of toasted sesame oil. Wow, the sesame oil was so light tasting, and still with a clear sesame flavor. The man behind the counter said it was that way because it’s so fresh.
If you bring in your own container, which they highly recommend, you’ll get a small discount. Or if you bring in your old il fustino bottle, you’ll get a dollar off your refill.
The shop also had a small art gallery for viewing, and they hold tastings and cooking classes.
You can tell the owners are very passionate about their oils and vinegars, so if you’re a similar enthusiast, I’m not sure if you can find better freshness and local flavor elsewhere.