German-based oil company makes its way to Woodbury
Looking for a virtual tour around Europe through oils, vinegars and spices?
Tamra Kramer has got you covered. She'll throw in a few gourmet cooking secrets, too.
Kramer opened the first "Vom Fass Oils, Vinegars, Spices" in Minnesota at Woodbury's Kowalski's Market last month and she's excited to share the products imported from various European regions.
Vom Fass is a German-based company that produces different-flavored oils, vinegars and spices. Everything comes from Europe and stays sealed until brought to the United States, Kramer said.
The shop inside Kowalski's displays all oils and vinegars in barrels waiting for individual dispensing. Flavors range from the typical olive, earthy-tasting oil, to the fruity, buttery taste.
"They all taste different" Kramer said. "People often ask if you can tell the difference."
Every flavor comes with a suggested recipe card. Kramer recommends combining oils with vinegars to get the layers of flavors that help vegetables, meats and salad come to life.
One of her favorites is the raspberry vinegar with basil oil for salads. Another is the rosemary oil and apple balsamic for pork, and ginger sesame oil with honey vinegar as a stir-fry base.
"Pomegranate with pumpkin seed is another really yummy combination," she said. "There is a lot of different ways to pair the oils and vinegars."
One of the popular vinegars is the calamansi for its citrus flavor, tartness and hints of mint that Kramer said is especially good on fish and other seafood. Truffle oil has been a favorite for its buttery taste on popcorn and French fries.
Each type of oil and vinegar comes from a specific part of Europe. Grassy oils are Greek, while fruity ones come from Italy.
Which is why Kramer likes to give customers the "European tour of olive oil" starting with the earthy taste of Greek and Spanish oils, cleansing the palate with lemony calamansi, and going down the list to Italian and French oils that are more mild and buttery.
"You're an automatic gourmet once you sample all the products," she said with a smile.
Kramer is also a fan of combining spices with oils as a dip for her homemade, gluten free breads.
She also suggests simply adding vinegars to salads and cheeses for easy marinates and additions to roasted vegetables.
"They have so much flavor, you don't need a lot of it," Kramer said.
Vom Fass is open for tasting from 11 a.m. to 7 p.m. Customers pick their products and pay at Kowalski's checkout counters.