Another Afternoon in the Life: Balsamic Tasting & Art at Akemi

First, an impromptu stop for balsamic and oil tasting with friends at Benessere.  I think my life was changed by a taste of their tart and captivating Sicilian Lemon Balsamic. The store is mere blocks from my office, you can sample whatever you like, it’s poured into bottles just for you, and quite reasonably priced for such a selection.

Not looking to go too overboard having just eaten lunch, I stuck to fruity vinegars and the rich avocado oil, and look forward to going on an olive oil tour soon (and purchasing once I’m paid!) As for the tastings, it’s all done in miniature sipping cups, so pick your favorites and have the baguette sliced and waiting at home.

Just one row of olive oils…

Specialty oils & vinegars…

One row of vinegar…

Also great: If you’re in the Portland area, you can bring back your used bottle for $1 off your next purchase.

Later on in my enriching day, I stopped by Sara Spencer’s Mercy for Animals Art Show at Akemi Salon.

"I create art in response to images I encounter." - Sara

Her art is on display at Akemi, an entirely vegan hair salon, until December 30th.

If you’re not in the Portland area, you can also view the show here and you’re able to donate online – the Paypal link is in the event description.

A $10 donation comes with a bonus copy of Sara’s vegan recipe zine, ‘Junk Food Junkie’.





P.S. I did the round up on the MoFo blog today: The Crazy Awesome!


  1. Olive oil and vinegar tasting is wonderful. How cool to bring your own bottles back in for a dollar off your next purchase. We have a place locally that grows their olive trees and has wonderful olive oil and vinegars too.

  2. Inspired by this post, my husband and I headed over to Benessere today after the Farmers Market.

    Oh. My. God. It’s like heaven in there! Did you taste the butter olive oil? It seriously tastes like clarified butter . . . or movie popcorn butter! We bought a bottle of the chipotle EVOO. Divine!

    Thanks for the rec!

    PS – the dude who owns the place is super rad too. =)

  3. I walk by Benessere every day and drool on the windows. I’ve never been in there though – I’m sort of frightened. I feel like I need to be an oil and vinegar connoisseur to enter.

    That’s it! I’m going this week.

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