I am enjoying my traditional late summer vacation to Wellfleet on Cape Cod. While I am away collecting great find to share with you, I am featuring a few of my past posts about this great spot. From my 2015 visit…

 

I am back from a wonderfully restorative vacation in the charming Cape Cod village of Wellfleet and have a few new finds to share.

First up is a true find: Lola’s Local Food Lab. A true find as Lola’s is in located below ground level and accessed by an alley stairway. Early in the week my traveling companions and I spotted signs for Lola’s Local Food Lab – which announced that it was open in the morning for light fare and then open again in the early evening as a soda fountain. We were intrigued.

About Lola’s Local Food Lab: “Kim Shkapich is the restless and inquisitive chef and owner of Lola’s Local Food Lab. She combines the artistry of traditional food preservation practices with her interest in the chemistry of food and cooking techniques to create innovative shelf-stable and fresh food products, for the community, with food and ingredients from the community. Lola is proud to use and promote whole foods and ingredients that reflect our shared values of sourcing locally and responsibly, supporting the passion and efforts of small producers and growers who work with ethical and social consciousness.”

My friends made it to Lola’s first and were happy to report that the “soda fountain” was basically Lola making old school fountain drinks with the help of her small batch shrubs – basically flavored vinegars – enhanced with the power of an industrial seltzer tap. My friends returned to our vacation villa raving about the drinks, the proprietor (Kim) and the shrubs – a couple of which they purchased based on their tasting.

About the shrubs of Lola’s Local Food Lab: “Lola’s Shrub Drinking  Vinegars are all natural, made with ethically grown fruit or vegetables, sweetened with organic evaporated cane sugar and nuanced with complementary vinegar. Citrus, spices and other aromatics may be added to accentuate the taste. Simultaneously tart and sweet, these concentrations amplify the flavor of the ingredients with refreshing depth and complexity; they surprise and wow the first-time taster. Handcrafted and small-batch bottled with seasonally available produce, much of it from Barnstable County farms and local growers. Vinegars used may include red or white wine, apple cider, balsamic or champagne.”

Shrubbing was originally a way our forefathers used to preserve fruits for long winters. Vinegar was used as a preserving agent and the result was a tangy treat in the middle of winter. Shrubs can be used for all sorts of things, but I love the idea of flavoring a nice soda drink.

I finally made it over to Lola’s myself to try a shrub soda and I was instantly hooked. First, Lola’s Local Food Lab is aptly named, as the small space is very much a test kitchen and the shrubs are tasted with the help of eyedroppers, test tubes and small apothecary bottles.

I love Lola’s Blueberry Basil Shrub: “Wild Maine blueberries and fresh basil are a delightful combination. Vinegars vary depending on the taste of the fruit; might be red or white wine, perhaps a balsamic. We also make Blueberry Lemon without Basil.”

I also had the opportunity to chat with Kim, whom my friends had befriended earlier, and found her story compelling and inspiring. I am now a fan and happy promotor of Lola’s Local Food Lab and I’ve been a shrub soda drinking fiend ever since I found the place.

Learn more about Lola’s Local Food Lab and shrubs here.