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Fennel and Tarragon Vinegar

The big brands and main stream food products throughout north America are usually optimized towards profit, production cost and shelf life rather than quality and richness. The most notable example of this is the addition of potassium sorbate to pickles. It's illegal in Europe and it is common practice throughout the Americas. It's interesting to see that the average consumer is neither aware of this trend nor does he or she care. There is however a small but growing number of people who do care and we find more products every day.

Once in a while I am surprised in a very positive way. There is e.g an apple cider vinegar called Ancestral (made by Nutram, http://www.nutram.ca/eng/ancestral.htm)

Ancestral apple cider vinegar

I have been blown away by the taste and richness of this vinegar when I tried it the first time. It's unpasteurized and unfiltered apple cider vinegar. It is a cloudy light brown liquid with some deposits at the bottom of the bottle. It looks like nothing special but you taste it once and you will never try any other vinegar.

This vinegar is a delight on its own and it made me think more about vinegar and the use of vinegar in the kitchen and throughout the house. Yes, vinegar is not only good for salads. You can use vinegar, any vinegar, even cheap white vinegar, as a cleaning agent or you can rinse your hair with it. Vinegar makes long hair easy to comb and very shiny.

This is when I started to experiment with adding spices and other flavors to this vinegar. There are two that I like to use with fresh salads of all kinds: It's difficult to describe taste. The tarragon vinegar has a very strong taste that goes well with cucumbers and tomato salads. The fennel vinegar is very nice with lettuce salads.

To make these vinegars is very easy.

Tarragon in apple cider vinegar

For the tarragon in apple cider vinegar I just use a few branches of fresh tarragon and leave it in the bottle with the Ancestral apple cider vinegar.

Fennel in apple cider vinegar

For the fennel vinegar I buy dried fennel seeds, put a spoon full into a bottle and fill it with apple cider vinegar.

You should store the vinegar inside a closed kitchen cabinet away from light. Especially direct sun light causes the vinegar to oxidize and bleach.
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© 2004-2024 Guido Socher