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Artisanal Fruit Vinegars

“This might be the best salad I’ve ever had in my life”

I was given a beautiful book on fermenting; The Noma Guide to Fermentation, full of oodles of fermenting fun, that’s how it started. I've always happily collected fine fruit vinegars, some good, some not so much, but they've always been pricy & I never gave a thought to making them, until this past summer and I'm having a blast with it now!

So far I’ve made Peary Vinegar and Wild Plum and they are both making me so freaking happy, seriously, I've learned this year more than ever, it's the little things that make life special for me. It's super easy, I only needed a few, very inexpensive, things, and now I'm hooked. Noma has so beautifully spelled it out, and I am but a grasshopper so I won't bother, here's the link. The plum is made the same as the pear & the yeast I first ordered online but later realized there is a brewing place with all the yeasts and bits you might want right here in Santa Barbara called BYOB.

Foraging is also a fun pastime, so now I'm on the lookout for vinegar-worthy wild thangs. 12 pounds of northern California wild plums made 5 quarts of really marvelous rich, sweet vinegar. I made a simple salad of roasted squash, goat cheese, and young farmer's market lettuces and a guest said “This might be the best salad I’ve ever had in my life”. All this vinegar needs to be a fabulous dressing is 3 parts vinegar + 1 part oil + a pinch of salt and its dressing. It's awesome to be able to cut way back on the oil like that, good for us all, plus, it just tastes so great - but feel free to experiment of course.


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