Vinegar—the word comes from the French “vin aigre,” meaning sour wine—teases us with the intense pungency. Vinegar has been around for as long as we’ve known wine, and is fermented juice that can be obtained from almost any plant, including rice, grain and fruit. I love the way vinegars can totally change the chemistry of a dish and make you go “wow!” Vinegars deserve their fifteen minutes in the spotlight, too! Here are a few of my current favorites.
Katz & Co. Sparkling Wine Vinegar: I couldn’t wait to bring this one home! Crisp with a pleasant acidity, a very clean tasting and full-bodied vinegar, yet has a wonderful softness to it. We carry five other vinegars from Katz & Co. and I am amazed at the quality of each one. Great vinegars for under $15.
Balsamo di Mela—Apple Balsamic Vinegar: Yes, this vinegar is actually made from fermented apples! Balsamo di Mela is aged for five years and adds a light and satisfying sweetness to a variety of dishes. Perfect for raw or grilled veggies, roasted meats, fresh fruits and a must for cheese!
When it comes to food, I usually think more is better (my dad says I get that from my mom’s side of the fam—thanks Mom!) That’s why I typically have two or three oils and vinegars open in my kitchen at any given time. Both last a while and it’s so fun to play with the different varieties and combinations. That’s the best way for me to find out about new products to share with you.
Whenever I help out a customer pick out an oil, vinegar or cheese, I usually wind up saying “here’s one of my favorites” a few times throughout the same conversation. And a lot of you have called me out on having more than one favorite! But I can’t help it—I just love our selection so much I can’t limit myself to one (you try picking one favorite out of fifty flavors of ice cream!)
And it’s the truth when I say, “this is one of my favorites.” When I’m home, whatever vinegar I use changes nightly depending on what I’m in the mood for. Maybe I want the lightness and creaminess of a white balsamic tonight, but tomorrow I could go for intensity of a real balsamic. And that’s what I think makes food so fun—it’s forever changing and evolving with your palate leading the way.
Try something new. Don’t be scared when we offer you a taste of something. We are giving you a taste because we want to share the experience with you. I love seeing someone try something new for the first time and seeing their eyes light up with fascination and going “what was that! I want more!” Is there a cheese that you have been eyeing for a while? Or ever want to taste a Greek kalamata olive next to an Italian cerignola olive? And what the heck is the difference between a toscano and a nostrano salami? Just ask for a taste!
I only know what I like. But I always love finding out what you love.
Your foodie friend,