Yes, you read that right. Banana vinegar. Have you ever tried this stuff? And if so, how do you cook with it?
I was lured into buying a bottle of this curious vinegar at Rancho Gordo, while I was resupplying my stock of dried beans. Steve Sando gushes over this banana vinegar in the Rancho Gordo web shop, saying that it has a mild fruity taste and that it adds this indefinable taste of the tropical to salads and meats. It isn't banana-infused vinegar, by the way. It's actually made from fermented bananas — a variety that is somewhere between a banana and a plantain.
I haven't quite figured out how to use it, though. It tastes tangy and assertive like any vinegar, of course, but it has a softened edge and a floral aroma of bananas that lingers in the mouth. I don't quite like the thought of putting it in my next dressing for mesclun, but I also don't want to save it just for desserts (although it would kill in a Bananas Foster preparation).
What do you think? How would you use banana vinegar?
• Find it: Banana Vinegar, $15.95 at Rancho Gordo
Related: Early Fall Project: Make Fruit Vinegar
(Images: Faith Durand)