If you’re on the hunt for a foodstuff that’s habitually hard to find, you won’t look for long in Greater Washington, which now boasts a number of specialty gourmet shops. Righteous Cheese (1309 5th St. NE, 202-716-3320) at Union Market offers cheeses from around the world in a friendly atmosphere. It also features seasonal items, including a British Lincolnshire Poacher that pairs well with apples and cider.
For artisanal olive oils and balsamic vinegars try Ah Love Oil & Vinegar (4017B Campbell Ave., Arlington, 703-820-2210), located in Shirlington and Merrifield, Virginia. Unique and popular offerings include fruit-infused olive oils such as blood orange, herb olive oils such as lavender, and vinegars such as Bordeaux cherry. Owner Cary Kelly is renowned for her signature bacon brownies that are made with decadent bacon olive oil in lieu of butter, making for an outrageous chocolate treat. Holiday partygoers, consider forgoing the ubiquitous bottle of wine and bring your host a sophisticated and delicious mélange of cheese, bread, and olive oil.
Artisanal olive oil and balsamic vinegar from Ah Love Oil & Vinegar.