Excerpt from Ari’s Top 5 enews
Wonderful, naturally sweet condiment
The problems of nationalism, conflict, and the shifting of political borders are neither unique to Ukraine nor new to the world (see anarchist Rudolph Rocker’s terrific Nationalism and Culture for more on this). As part of the political and border shifts that accompanied the violence of WWI, the mountainous Trentino-Alto Adige region went from being part of the Austro-Hungarian empire to Italy. It is a beautiful area, one that is off the beaten tourist track, but totally worth visiting. It’s the source of some wonderful wine and really fine foods, including this little-known terrific vinegar.
Unlike nearly every other fruit vinegar on the market—most all of which are made from wine vinegar sweetened up with fruit syrup—this is the real thing. Made today as the Romans would have, it starts with fig wine (yes, wine made from the juice of figs, rather than grapes), which is then converted naturally to vinegar, and aged in wood barrels to intensify and soften its flavor. The end result is a vinegar that’s superbly smooth and tastes totally of figs. Impressively, it’s not too sweet; its flavor is rich, raisiny, intense but not strong. If you’re one of Balsamic vinegar’s many fans, you will likely love this one. Mist it onto freshly broiled salmon or duck. Add a bit to a salad. Sprinkle it over fresh fruit. Or do as I’ve been doing and just sip a shot. Sure to set new standards for what fruit vinegar can and should be!