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2006-09-10

>fruit vinegar

Can you bear the thought of doing without the ubiquitous balsamic vinegar? You know, there ARE alternatives to this overused flavor. Glazes and reductions made from fruit vinegars can be amazingly varied. The really tasty ones are not the fruit-infused kinds, but the fermented fruit ones. Some are so mellow, you can literally drink them. There are vinegars made from apple, apricot, blackberry, black currant, blueberry, cherry, fig, plum, quince, raspberry, even tomato. Wine vinegar, of course, is a fruit vinegar.

There are restaurants which like this option. Check out Arrows. Komi in Washington, D.C. Spice Market in New York served pickled foie gras with date chutney and plum vinegar. Ritz Carlton Cancun held a Vinegar Gala featuring elderberry vinegar.

Trader Joe's carries low-priced pomegranate vinegar you can experiment with. Gegenbauer is a Viennese seller of fruit vinegars. Cuisine Perel, a Bay Area gourmet store, is another one.

Fruit vinegars, so strong in number and more popular in Europe and Asia, are not as visible as they ought to be. Balsamic vinegar, I liked you in your starring role, but could you please take a backseat now.

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