View Full Version : Talked to someone about vinegar making today...

08-01-2009, 01:23 AM
I went to the AC Food and Wine show (not completely an accurate name, since they had some beer (Peroni and the Stella Artois/Hoegaarden/Bass trio, plus Blue Moon and Magic Hat) and some liquor (Tried Dan Aykroyd's vodka, some tequila, Glenlivet (12, 16, and 18 year), etc.)

Anyway, one of the food tables was a company that sold true balsamic vinegar (12, 25, and 50 year old). Just sampled a couple of drops, but man was that stuff strong (BTW, the 50 year old is about $80 for a 100ml bottle). The company was owned by an Italian immigrant from the region that makes balsamic vinegar. His daughter was there to explain the product. She was actually very interesting to talk to about it. You could tell that she really enjoyed making it.

She told us the whole story of how they got started. (I can't help but think that if you substitute "mead" for "vinegar" that it would describe most of us here). Her father came over long ago due to an exchange program to teach Italians English and Canadians Italian. From Canada he moved to the US where he worked at a whole bunch of engineering jobs. I forgot what she said his main business is now, but the vinegar thing started as a hobby.

It was funny hearing her tell it. Basically, when he was 60, he came in one day and complained to his wife that he "didn't have any vinegar." His wife was confused because she had just come back from the store where she had bought some vinegar, so she said, "Yes, we have vinegar, see?" He said, "No, we don't have VINEGAR! Everyone else in my family has vinegar, but we don't have vinegar!" So she and his daughter said, "Well, then get them to send you some vinegar."

He did, and they sent it from Italy, with the variously aged ones that he could keep in the attic. His daughter said that he was like a kid with a new toy when they came, showing it off to all his friends. His friends wanted to buy his vinegar, and after a while, he thought, "If I can sell this to my friends at this price, how much can I sell it for to the world?"

His daughter then said that after a while he called her up and said, "I need you. Come up here." She figured that he meant that she needed him to move something over the weekend. He said, "No, you don't understand. Give your job your two weeks notice. I need you here."

And she said, "And now here I am selling vinegar!"

She obviously loved it, though, because she went into all kinds of details in how it's made (they make it in the attics because the heat helps the process and also causes it to lose water over time, concentrating it, not to mention that they don't want it anywhere near the wine in the cellar because the bacteria that makes the vinegar would end up in the wine, turning it into vinegar).

She then talked about how they take the very sweet 50 year vinegar (the older it is, the sweeter it becomes) over strawberries and raspberries.

Edit: I found the www page: http://www.lacetaia.com/default.html

08-01-2009, 01:30 AM
She then talked about how they take the very sweet 50 year vinegar (the older it is, the sweeter it becomes) over strawberries and raspberries.

Yum! I like balsamic with figs and ricotta as well.

One of these days I'm going to start making vinegar too.

08-02-2009, 11:49 AM
ha ha! excellent.

Though you've highlighted the biggest problem, the transfer of the bacteria to wines, producing....... yes, you've guessed it...... more vinegar.

Mead vinegar? possibly a natural "sweet and sour" ? sounds like an excellent idea for oriental cooking :p;D8)

08-06-2009, 12:33 AM
Hmmmm, I was gonna ask on this forum about mead vinegars...

Has anyone ever made vinegar from a mead batch gone bad?

I have made vinegar from store bought red wine but curious about mead vinegars in case any of my test batches come out undrinkable.