Wednesday, 1 June 2011

Product Article: Flavoured Balsamic Vinegars from South Africa

This weekend I got talking to a market stall owner near the Saatchi gallery, in Chelsea. Her name was Stefania Cuda. On the day, Stefania was selling Balsamic Vinegar which is produced by the gruenard family in Stellenbosh, South Africa.

This was the usual ‘condiment grade’ of vinegar, made with white grapes, minus the caramelised sugar which darkens the product. 

Single herbs are introduced before the vinegar and before fermentation. One with dill, one with lemon thyme and so on. No herbs were visible in the bottle, just a clean hue of white grape. I expected the usual low hum of herb that you might find in a flavoured olive oil, which I always find quite unimpressive. What hit me instantly was fresh dill. Bang, right there on the front of my tongue, follow by a rounded, crisp tang from the vinegar. I could see possibilities with this stuff instantly. A fillet of bass finished with this dill vinegar would not be out of place on a menu of gastronomy, both confusing and delighting the diners.

I could pontificate for a good few more paragraphs, but I will leave you to decide the uses of this great product.

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