By Catherine Kenwell

There’s something to be said about the company you keep, and here at Olive Oil Co. in Barrie and Newmarket, we’re fortunate to be surrounded by like-minded businesses in all of our locations. We choose to keep our community close, and we enjoy collaborating with others to provide local culinary and social experiences second to none.

If you’re looking for an outstanding local culinary experience, we have three locations—and the like-minded neighbours—to serve you well.

We’ve created three ideas for putting together your personal foodie adventure, whether you’re in downtown Barrie, Barrie’s south end, or in Newmarket’s Upper Canada Mall, where we’ve recently opened our third location.

First Up: Downtown Barrie, Saturday Morning

Your first local foodie adventure starts at the Barrie Farmer’s Market. Pick up a couple of local beefsteak or heritage tomatoes and some fresh hard-necked garlic. You may want to grab some greens or fresh herbs if they’re available.

Next, head to our downtown Barrie store, located within a block of historic buildings on the south side of Dunlop Street West. At BOO, we’ll guide you through an olive oil and balsamic tasting, and help you discover your favourite combination.

If you love garlic, ask about our garlic grating plate. We’re happy to demonstrate how it works, and how to pour your oil and balsamic over the grated garlic for a robust, delicious treat. And if you’re putting together a charcuterie tray, don’t miss our stuffed olives and organic olive bruschetta.

Also available for sampling are local hot and BBQ sauces (Terry’s Original and Momma Mari’s) and sweet, spicy jellies made for BOO right here in Barrie. New is an outstanding Lavender Riesling jelly…ask for a taste!

Armed with your market and BOO treasures, head down Dunlop to Homestead Bakery, located in a heritage building on the north side. We work with Homestead and we’re big fans of their hearty soda breads and multigrain croissants. You can ask for a sample of a variety of breads on hand; there are often little pieces at the order counter. Pick your favourite and just imagine dipping it into your new olive oil and balsamic…hungry yet?

Fun Fact: Homestead uses our extra-virgin olive oil in its pizza dough, and the house salad dressing is a tangy, sweet combination of our Dill olive oil or Persian Lime olive oil paired with Sicilian Lemon white balsamic.

Next, you’re going to cross to the south side of Dunlop, where you’ll visit J’Adore Fine Cheese and Chocolate. J’Adore always has an impressive variety of local and international cheeses, and again, you can taste before you buy. Depending on your mood, there are sweet and mild cheeses and stick-to-your-ribs strong, salty and robust choices.

You’re assembling a great ‘Saturday evening in’…so what’s next? Usually, you’d think a bottle of wine is in order with cheese, but if you’d like to ‘up’ your adventure, head a few doors down to the Flying Monkeys Craft Brewery and explore the wonders of Ontario’s Craft Brewers. With 16 unique Flying Monkeys craft beers on tap, the brewery’s Beertenders are always happy to help you choose the perfect style or build a flight of four different flavours to try in their funky Tap Room.   I might recommend starting with something light like an Antigravity light ale and progress to a sweeter Aurora Heart Chocolate Raspberry Stout or the dessert-quality Chocolate Manifesto, a triple-chocolate milk stout as you move into your more robust cheeses. All of these varieties are available for take-out in cans, bottles or growlers.

Now…if all that shopping, tasting and sampling has tired you out, before you head home stop by Barrie Bean Counter for a unique, hand-made latte or tea, or if you’re hungry, Grilled Cheese Social Eatery has the best and most unusual takes on that classic lunchtime treat, ‘grilled cheese and tomato soup’.

Until next time, when we tackle south Barrie culinary delights, enjoy!

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