It's full of history, shopping, boutiques, leisure, activities, and food. Yes...the food.
Foodies love Savannah. And it's no wonder.
You can find any variety of fare to suit your tastebuds. Surrounded by a mouthwatering experience that ranges from local seafood, southern "soul food," lowcountry recipes, Asian, steaks, Moroccan, Italian...you can seriously find anything you want here. Just ask. There is not only somewhere to eat...but somewhere good to eat.
Some of the most fun, interesting, and enticing shops along the streets are the speciality food shops. I love the ones that specialize in a particular fare, making sure they have mastered their domain.
Lowcountry Gourmet Foods in one of those.
If you do not know where to look you could walk or drive right past it. I have. Many times. But now that I have been introduced to its delectability, I am hooked! A small doorway on Liberty Street just off of Abercorn, near the Cathedral of St John the Baptist contains this jewel that is their tasting room.
Upon arriving with my friend Emily, we were met by Robb, the owner, sitting outside with a bread dip and freshly baked bread for sampling. It was divine. It's no wonder he sits out there enticing people in with it--it works!
We entered the tasting room as Robb began to explain all of the different uses and applications of the olive oils and balsamic vinegars that their tasting room had to offer. I was puzzled when he mentioned putting balsamic vinegar on ice cream. It honestly sounded disgusting. But he was the expert, not me.
We started looking around and quickly discovered a world of olive oils. Not being a gourmet myself, I was unaware that so many different varieties of olive oil existed. I bought the extra virgin variety at the grocery store, you know? I thought that was enough.
No...they have several different varieties that are made of only one type of olive and each carries it's own distinct flavor. Additionally there are several varieties that were pressed with another fruit to add a distinct personality. I loved the lime one and noted to Emily that it would be delicious to use in a Latin dish that needed a little lime kick. There was also the Chipotle. When I sampled it, I thought that although it had a bit of a flavor it was not exactly the kick I expected from "Chipotle." About 30 seconds later the afterburn kicked in. It was a whole new world of flavor that arrived long after the ingestion of the oil. It was fantastic. I quickly selected it as my favorite.
On to the huge selection of Balsamic Vinegars. We started with the original Aged. It was delightful. Then on to the flavored varieties. There was dark chocolate (which is what Emily is about to sample in the picture below), fruity concoctions, and spiced mixtures. I suddenly understood why someone would put vinegar on ice cream. It was delicious. Considering adding the strawberry to vanilla ice cream or tangerine to a salad was so appealing. And as Robb noted, much more healthy and diet-friendly than syrup.
In addition to the vinegars and oils, they offer cookbooks, stuffed olives, nut oils, Hawaiian sea salts, gourmet seasoning, and pasta. There is just too much to take in all in that one little shop!
Robb offered generously for me to bring samples home to try in the kitchen. But what to choose? I so loved the tangerine, the peach, the pomegranate. Chip would like somethings as well I'm sure! The Chipotle was a must. How could I leave without one of their delicious Aged balsamic vinegars? It was too much. I just had to settle because I couldn't possibly clean the tasting room out as I wanted to!
What did I leave with? Well, Robb did not let me leave empty-handed. I left with one 12.5 oz bottle of the Aged Balsamic Vinegar, one 12.5 oz bottle of the Chipotle Extra Virgin Olive Oil, one 2 oz bottle of peach balsamic vinegar (for me), one 2 oz bottle of honey ginger balsamic vinegar (for Chip), one cookbook, two pour spouts for the large bottles, one bread dipping spice, and one Lowcountry Gourmet seasoning (yum).
Not long after getting them home, we had a dinner that allowed us to use the bread dipping sauce and some nice warmed bakery bread. It was so very good. Of course Patrick didn't try it because it "looked funny" to him. But that doesn't surprise me. Chip and I thoroughly enjoyed it.
Just a couple of nights later we were having fajitas and thought it would be the perfect opportunity to try out the Chipotle olive oil for cooking the chicken in. It was, in fact, perfect. The potent burn that came with sampling it straight had soaked into the chicken. It wasn't so stout, but left a rich, spicy flavor in the chicken.
A few nights later, we were having a meal with salads on the side and Chip decided to sample his Honey Ginger Balsamic Vinegar on his salad. He said it was really good and light. And probably much healthier than the honey French dressing he would have used otherwise!
Looking through the cookbook, I had to smile. It reminded me of home. Some of the recipes weren't as familiar because they are native to this region of the country (the Lowcountry as it is locally known), but it was full of recipes that are just like the ones that grandma passes down. The kind you find in a ladies church group cookbook. It was fabulous.
I immediately laughed and told Chip that I had never seen a recipe for Dump Cake written down. It was something you just know how to make. But for those not in the know, you too can now enjoy the wonders of Dump Cake. Yummm.
So if you ever find yourself in Savannah, I highly recommend Lowcountry Gourmet Foods tasting room. And until that happens, visit their website and buy something until you can find your way down here and experience it for yourself.
Now, Robb from Low Country Gourmet Foods has quite a generous offer for you!
Head over to their online shop and find something delicious to try. Shipping is free on ALL orders over $90!
One lucky reader will be chosen via Random.org to win one full sized olive oil and one full sized aged balsamic vinegar (of choice) shipped to their home in the US.
Additionally (and this is huge for locals) - anyone who goes into the local tasting room between 9/11 and 10/11 will receive any two 2 oz bottles of aged balsamic vinegar and/or olive oil if you tell them that you are there because of this blog review.
HOW AWESOME IS THAT?!
Mandatory Entry (must be completed before any others are considered):
Visit Low Country Gourmet Foods and tell me which of their products most intrigues you.
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Giveaway will run until September 20th at 11:59 pm EST. Winner will be chosen by Random.org. US only. Commenter must either leave email address with each comment or make sure email address is attached to your profile. Winner will be contacted via email and will have 48 hours to return contact before another winner is chosen.
This post is part of my Back to School BLOWOUT! Click for more details!