What’s On Tap? Oils And Vinegars At Hudson’s Savor the Taste
By Jamie Larson
There are few ingredients our palates enjoy more and know more thoroughly than the flavors of olive oil and balsamic vinegar. At Savor the Taste, Hudson New York’s new boutique oil and vinegar shop and tasting room, shoppers quickly realizes how little they’ve explored the possible variations of these staple ingredients.
The walls and center tables of Savor the Taste are lined with dozens of natural flavor infused ultra-premium, extra-virgin olive oils and balsamics, as well as varieties of other specialty oils and high-end spices, all ready to be sampled in-store. The plentiful options can at first be overwhelming but with a little guidance from Savor’s warm and knowledgeable owner Christine Donohue, visitors soon realize they can comfortably curate a tasting experience for themselves that might easily last an hour before settling on which varieties to take home.
“I wanted to give people an experience I love,” says Donohue, who gets all of her imported products through Veronica Foods, who are known as sticklers for purity and quality. “Taste is subjective so I wanted to provide something for everyone.”
There is something comforting about olive oil and balsamic vinegar. Maybe that’s why people sometimes bristle at the idea of mixing the pure oils and vinegars — especially ones as high in quality as Savor’s — with flavors, even all natural ones. Donohue says you just can’t know until you try. Certainly not everyone will like every variety but there is undoubtedly something new for everyone’s taste and Savor is eager to help you find it.
Flavors at Savor range dramatically. There is a menu of un-infused oils from across the globe and sampling varieties made from different types of olives grown in regions from Tunisia and Croatia, to Spain and California that give one a sense of the range of flavor evident in the oils alone. But you would be doing yourself a great disservice not to try some of the more adventurous olive oils naturally enhanced with herbs, different types of peppers, citruses, onion, garlic, mushrooms and even butter. Donohue also caries decadent black and white truffle oils, the highest quality almond and coconut oil, as well as a butternut squash oil that she says customers are routinely pleasantly surprised by.
And what goes for her oils extends to the balsamics as well, where the variety of infusions is even more adventurous. There are pure dark balsamics aged up to 18 years and then there are flavored dark and white balsamic mixed with ingredients sweet and savory including blackberry ginger, red apple, fig, dark chocolate, juniper, red apple, espresso, lavender, Vermont Maple, jalapeno, lemongrass mint and more. And you can taste them all right there.
Under the displays, Savor supplies recipe ideas and dressing combinations. In addition, most of the store’s products are OU Kosher.
Because all the oils and vinegars are bottled in house, shoppers can buy in a range of sizes and prices, so it’s easy and more affordable to leave with a variety you can use sparingly on bread or cook with every day. If you can’t get to Hudson, all of Savor’s offerings can bejpurchased online through the website.
“It’s great for a date night, believe it or not,” Donohue says of coming to Savor with a laugh, remembering that just before going to the tasting room that inspired her to get into the business with her partner she, well, wasn’t in the best mood. “I was actually mad at him! But by the time we left I was in love with him all over again.” Perhaps oil and vinegar are the food combinations of love?
Donohue’s enthusiasm for her products and her new business are evident everywhere in the pretty little shop. With the summer shopping season coming to Hudson, Savor The Taste seems a fitting addition to the many specialty food shops that dot Warren Street. A trip inside is a supremely pleasant experience.
Savor the Taste
527 Warren Street