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By Brittany Tiplady We have Europe to thank for the invention of olive oil and balsamic tasting bars. Now, olive oil specialty shops are popping up around Metro Vancouver and making quite the impression on curious foodies. Artisanal olive oil shops don’t just have bottles of beautiful oils (and most also have a large selection of vinegars) on display, olive oil tastings bars present an interactive and educational experience. Customers can peruse the lineup of fustis, special stainless-steel jars that store olive oil and balsamics, and learn about the flavours, origins, and make of each oil and vinegar. Tasting olive oils offers a sensory experience for the consumer, bringing the flavour profile we usually read on a label right to your palate. “Smaller boutique shops get people talking about traceability when it comes to olive oil. Shops like ours educate customers on who you are supporting, and the freshness of…

By Nikki Hillman You’ll know Rocco’s is passionate about supporting local as soon as you enter the store. The seating area is dominated by two, long wooden tables, built by a company directly across the street, who salvaged fallen trees from within the area. These tables foster traditional Italian family dining and, if you’ve visited Italy, you will be familiar with this concept – and Rocco’s is definitely about family. The store is managed by Andy and Jana Mollica (a retired Air Canada employee) and their trusted employee, general manager and chef, Pat Toynbee. Stop by on a weekday afternoon and you could be entertained by their adorable children as they munch on pepperoni sticks from behind the deli glass. Rocco’s opened in August of 2015 and has quickly become the go-to place for coffee, meats, cheeses and treats. Most of the pastries are made in store; try a café…

By Sheliza Mitha & The City of Coquitlam The temperate climate of BC’s Lower Mainland makes it especially easy to enjoy impromptu (and planned) barbecues and picnics – particularly in the warmer months of spring, summer and early fall. So, why not take it easy on yourself and enjoy the weather… and let someone else (preferably an expert!) do all the prep work? Enter Coquitlam’s array of specialty and multicultural delis, where you’ll find everything from authentic Italian salami and street food to Eastern European delights and even some flavourful Persian treats and meat. Here are just a few Coquitlam delis (in alphabetical order) where you can pop in and grab what you need for a quick and delicious meal: Euro Food Tri-City Deli & Catering 1-555 North Road Tucked away in Coquitlam’s North Road, this eclectic deli features most anything one could imagine from Central, Eastern and Northern Europe.…