Adventures in Hot Sauce

On Canada Day we decided to be pretty low-key as it was hot and we’d just had a lot of family stuff going on the past few weeks. We went down into Penticton to check out the festivities in the afternoon. The usual vendors and food tents were set up in Gyro Park with a throng of people milling around or sitting on the grass listening to some cool sounds from a two piece band whose singer had a gravellish Tom Waits thing going on. We wandered past the vendors and hawkers seeing the usual wares but I spied someone/something different. In one sunshade tent sat a gorgeously animated man selling Hot Sauces and Marinades with a highly joyful smile. I love supporting small business, local business and products that are just Different !

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Nelson B.C‘s Hot Sauce Guy Edmond Segbeaya has been selling his Ebeesse ZoZo Hot Sauce‘s and winning competitions since 2002. Segbeaya, 48, landed in Nelson 12 years ago after a decade-long diversion in Germany. He had fled there without his wife and twin daughters after demonstrating against a military dictatorship in his homeland of Togo, Africa. He sells a line of his fiery sauces all over North America yet I had never encountered them and was excited to try the samples and Zowee! Great heat and taste! I bought a jar of the Mild Coconut Milk Marinade Sauce and couldn’t wait to try it at home …but how ? What to choose??

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I decided to use the marinade on jumbo prawns I had in the freezer. After safely thawing the prawns, I poured about a 1/4 cup of the marinade into a bowl then coated the prawns and left them to marinate in the fridge roughly 2 hours. The sauce is a lovely curry-yellow with strands of real coconut. OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

Meanwhile , as the prawns were busy soaking up the tasty sauce , I trimmed up some multi-coloured bell peppers to accompany the shrimp on the barbie. We like to trim them so they lay nice and flat on the grill for best blackening results. I drizzled a bit of olive oil on the peppers to slightly coat them. The weather has been hot hot here like the sauce so this was to be a mostly outdoor grilling dinner.

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When it was nearly grill time I threaded the Prawns on to metal skewers. Wooden ones would work also.  I always soak the wooden ones in water before using so avoid flame ups.

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I then passed the prepared Prawns off to The Grill Guy along with the peppers while I made a quick side dish by sauteing minced, fresh garlic in a dash of olive oil then adding a cup on trimmed Snow Pea pods and gave them a brisk fry around to heat but not lose the crisp bite.

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The results were superb! The Grill Guy did a brilliant job and the flavours of the three choices melded together very well. And the Prawns!? The Coconut Marinade was a lovely sweet and spicy, rich taste extravaganza!

I highly recommend you pick up some Awassi Ebesse Zozo or any of the products when you see them at a Farmer’s Market or better gourmet shop! The price is worth the taste and a little goes a long way!

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My Premium Olive Oil Experience!

I am so thrilled that Penticton is now home to the latest Oliv Tasting Room.

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photo courtesy of https://sphotos-b.xx.fbcdn.net

I had noticed an ad somewhere for the opening or “Coming Soon” type event but didn’t realize where the shop would be until I stopped for my Friday shops of fresh veg, meat and bread on Riverside Drive and Violá! There was the new Oliv shop so I ventured in and was immediately greeted by an enthusiastic and knowledgeable staff member who asked if I’d ever had an Olive Oil Tasting before.

No! Never! Bring it on!

olivPhoto courtesy of oliv

To start me off my server poured a tiny amount of  varietal oil into a little cup and had me warm it in my hand while she explained the origins of the oil and a bit about the company. All the Olives are grown in South Africa by owners Awie and Isabeau du Toit who established the first Oliv shop in the unlikely location of Moose Jaw Saskatchewan !

Once the oil was at the right tasting temperature, I sipped the golden liquid and coated the inside of my mouth as I would with wine for a delightful result! Of course I use Olive Oils on a daily basis but I suppose I never just taste the oil on it’s own. This first oil, Mission, was delicious, light yet  deep and complex with  a hint of apple and a buttery finish. Next I tasted the Leccino which proved to be my favourite and my first purchase. It was sweet and possibly oaky with hints of fruit.

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My Purchase!

To be honest, after the first couple of tastings , I had a hard time keeping track of what I had tried, liked, and the different nuances of each but it was so fun I just kept up with everything my lovely hostess poured! We moved on the the Balsamics and then the combinations of Vinegars with the vast selection of flavoured oils on bits of bread from Cobs.  It was  a taste extravaganza and my taste buds became as excited as I was to be living this whole new experience.  I can’t wait to return to Oliv and stock up on some of their vast array of  balsamics and have plans for a delicious bread dip using Oliv’s Roasted Garlic Olive Oil and their Chili Balsamic. Yum! That was by far my preference of the combos but I also loved the sweet Balsamics on fruit.

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I highly recommend this experience to all of you and if you are lucky enough to live near one of the Oliv Tasting Room locations , do go in and Taste!

There are 5 locations in Canada including  here in the Okanagan Valley in Penticton.  As we seem to be smack dab in the centre of the growing B.C wine industry and an ever increasing selection of great restaurants and Foodie enthusiasts such as myself, I think our area is a brilliant choice for this new shop and I wish them much success! I will be back soon!

598980_438340212908409_756722759_nCourtesy of Oliv