On a recent oil and vinegar tasting, my sister went wild for a chocolate balsamic vinegar. It had a sweet, tangy, and slightly bitter taste. And it made me want to make some for her as a gift (and a little for myself, too!). Here's how:
A couple years ago I fell in love with a fruit vinegar. This may sound like an easy love to consummate — there are many fruit vinegars in the stores, after all — but this vinegar was delicious beyond all of them. Unfortunately it's only available in England, so I had to turn to alternatives. This fall, I decided to try to fill my vinegar craving myself. The process turned out to be shockingly easy. Here's what I did.
Most fruit-flavored vinegars that you can purchase in the grocery store are too sweet and fake tasting for me. So in the summertime, when fruit is abundant and cheap, I like to put up a bottle or two of fruit vinegar. Nothing could be easier or tastier. It's cherry season here on the west coast, so this week it was cherry vinegar!
If there's one thing we like to talk about more than the act of cooking food, it's cleaning up after ourselves (though we don't often like to!). Keeping your kitchen in tip top shape not only looks pretty, it means you're more likely to cook at home instead of running out for a bite to eat. Do you know all the tricks of the trade?
Do you see it? That slimy red substance at the top of this ceramic jar is called a mother of vinegar, or vinegar mother. It's basically a combination of cellulose and acetic acid bacteria that forms on fermenting alcoholic liquids. As the name implies, a mother of vinegar makes vinegar!
It's easy to fall in love with those beautiful vinegars that have been made with exotic fruits, infused with herbs, aged in special barrels, or are otherwise irresistible. But we think that there are really only five vinegars that we would consider actually "essential" for a home cook's pantry. Do you agree?
It's been grey and drizzly every day for the past week where we live and we're desperate for a little sun. We'll take it in food form if that's all we can get, so we've been piling on the citrus, pulling out our vinegars, and generally loading our foods with all the tart, sunny flavors we can find. What about you?