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Old Town Oil and Spice House

Posted Sep 06 2013 10:55am
Last Wednesday I went to a really cool event called "Olive Oil, Spices and Wine, Oh My!" hosted by Brooke Schantz of  Bitchin' Nutrition . She is a registered dietician and president of the Chicago Dietetic Association, so she puts on events like this to provide networking for dietitians, bloggers, and foodies. I actually heard about Brooke from Linda Samuels , the sports nutritionist that spoke at the NTC LP marathon crew team huddle at Centered Chef ( blog post ).

We started of the evening at  Old Town Oil . I was late because of work/commuting so I missed their presentation but I still had a chance to try some of their infused olive oils and vinegars. You can just go around the store and taste everything they make. I really liked the chocolate balsamic vinegar but ended up choosing the oregano olive oil for my complimentary gift to take home (the entire event was $40).

We then moved on to  Spice House  right next door on Wells St. The couple that owns the store gave us a presentation and I loved how they had a map to show us where the spices were from. We learned a lot about different types of pepper, cinnamon, and salt, and the role of the spice trade in history. It was a really interesting presentation! I seriously just want to go in there again to learn more about spices.

The owners also talked about the health benefit of some spices. Dr. Oz is really big into recommending spices for different remedies and weight loss solutions. Spice House said that they sometimes have an abnormal amount of people asking for a certain spice and then figure out that it was featured on Dr. Oz. I believe in any natural remedy so I do use a lot of good spices in my cinnamon in my morning smoothie to control blood sugar or turmeric for anti-aging.

We also got to taste lots of different spices. The most interesting one was Sansho Pepper. It was like nothing I've ever tasted and left my mouth tingling for a few minutes. I'm really curious as to how they use it in recipes.

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