Ta-Ze in Sherway Gardens

13 Jun

On Friday, Richard and I found ourselves at Sherway Gardens. Long story short, we went for the farmers’ market but it was disappointing (it looked like everything was just brought in from the Food Terminal – SKU stickers were attached to some fruits) and we ended up inside the mall. Sherway Gardens is a strange mall. The stores in it are fairly high-end – there’s a Coach store and a Holt Renfrew – but the mall itself is terribly outdated.

We stumbled upon Ta-Ze, a store that specializes in olive oils and vinegars. We wandered in, originally thinking that we might buy a bottle of good olive oil since ours is almost empty. We somehow wandered out with 1 bottle of olive oil, 2 bottles of balsamic vinegar and 2 jars of olives! I credit this splurge to the fact that the sales staff were very friendly and knowledgeable. The woman helping us knew where all of the different olive oils were from and what made them taste different. Sometimes it’s the olive, sometimes it’s the conditions, sometimes it’s the region. She let us taste lots of different types and explained what they might be best used for.

Extra virgin olive oil from Ta-Ze

We ended up with this one, Incecik, which has a mild olive taste and a very buttery mouth-feel. It’s great for salads as well as bread dipping.

Balsamic vinegars from Ta-Ze

The two balsamic vinegars that we bought couldn’t be more different. The one in the front is a cranberry balsamic, which is a wonderful balance of sweet and sour. I can’t wait to make a fruity salad and use this in the dressing! The other is a smoked white balsamic. The taste of the vinegar in this one is a bit milder, and the smoke flavour is strong but not overwhelming. We tried it in a salad on Saturday and it didn’t really shine through. I think that this would be better for sprinkling over fish or vegetables as a finishing touch. They also had a truffle white balsamic which I loved but Richard found to be way too pungent.

Olives from Ta-Ze

These olives were actually free because the sales woman said that she “liked” us. She also mentioned as an aside that they were quickly approaching their expiry date, which probably had more to do with it than our magnetic personalities. Either way, both of these were lovely in their own way. The ones in the front are stuffed with almonds, which makes them a bit sweet and very smooth tasting. The ones in the back were stuffed with sundried tomatoes and had a stronger taste. We put these out as a snack before a barbecue on Saturday night and they disappeared very quickly! I hope that Ta-Ze continues to stock these because I’d go back to buy a jar!

The store itself reminded me of a spa, or a small boutique wine shop in France . The atmosphere was very relaxing and minimal. I didn’t have my camera with me at the time, though.

If you happen to find yourself wandering around Sherway Gardens, make sure that you wander into this lovely store. You might wander out with a few little treasures too!

Ta-Ze in Sherway Gardens
25 The West Mall
Toronto, ON
ta-ze.ca

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