Our November meeting was a “tasteful” affair as we hosted Pat O’Brien of Fiore Olive Oils at the Curtis Memorial Library in Brunswick. Pat, whose wife Nancy started the company in 2009, educated the crowd on the process of making balsamic vinegars in Italy. Pat and Nancy lead a small group every year to Modena, Italy, to learn more about the region whose fame revolves around the ancient process of pressing grapes to produce balsamic vinegar. Club members learned that many families in this region have been producing balsamic vinegar for several hundred years. And many of them use their attic to both produce and store the grape juice used in the production of balsamic vinegar.
At the meeting Pat and his assistant Todd passed around tiny spoons which members used to taste a sample of 25-year old balsamic vinegar. It had quite a kick to it! Then those in attendance were able to sample real Italian parmesan cheese with balsamic vinegar drizzled on top. After the presentation, many in attendance bought Christmas gifts from the array of olive oils, balsamic vinegars, and gift packs on display.