Flavored Vinegars
... submitted by dave 
from yardley, pa 
mmmmm----- recipe via meal-master (tm) v8.01 
title: flavoured vinegars 
categories: french, condiment, ceideburg 2 
yield: 1 servings 
mmmmm---------------------flavoured vinegar-------------------------- 
  mmmmmfor each 1 litre wine bottle---------------------
1   l (1 3/4 pints) plain wine
4 or 5   shallots, peeled and
  slightly crushed, threaded
  on fine string or
4 clove  garlic, peeled and
  slightly crushed or
2 Tbsp  mustard seed or
1   long leafy branch tarragon
  twice the length of the
flavoured wine vinegar has been an important ingredient in french 
cooking since medieval times when vinegar was essential in order to 
keep meat edible in warm weather. 
in the 13th century, street vendors were granted the right to cry 
their wares in the thoroughfares of paris. these cries soon became 
famous, and the vinegar sellers even rolled their casks through the 
narrow streets crying 'garlic and mustard vinegars, herb vinegar... ' 
'vinaigres, bons et biaux.' 
they also sold verjus, the sieved juice of unripe grapes which serves 
to sharpen the flavour of many cooked dishes in the same way that 
vinegar does. it is still used in some country places and provides a 
means of using up green grapes unfit for any other purpose. 
all farm kitchens have an earthenware vinegar barrel. it constitutes 
another of the many country economies. after the grape harvest, a 
certain quantity of either red or white wine is reserved and poured 
into the barrel over a liquid fungus or mere de vinaigre which turns 
it into vinegar. the quantity drawn off each day is replaced by 
emptying the remains of the wine bottles into the barrel. 
when herbs are most pungent, just before flowering, they are cut and 
used to aromatize some of the vinegar drawn off. it is then bottled 
and used for flavouring. 
owning a vinegar barrel is a privilege of which few english kitchens 
can boast but plain wine vinegar sold in the multiple chemists' shops 
can be used effectively with home-grown herbs to produce fine vinegar 
at much less cost than that prepared commercially. 
flavoured vinegar: 
collect the number of bottles necessary, with sound corks to fit. 
wash the bottles in hot soapy water, rinse first in very hot water 
then in cold, drain, dry and heat in a slow oven. scald the corks in 
boiling water. 
pour the vinegar into an enamel-lined or stainless steel pan and over 
a low temperature bring slowly to blood heat. it should be quite 
warm to the touch of a knuckle joint, no more. add shallots, garlic, 
mustard seed or tarragon to the warm bottles. (if using tarragon, 
this should be bent double and pushed down the neck of the bottle.) 
fill up with warm vinegar, cork down tightly, and place on a sunny 
window sill to mature for 6 weeks before use. 
  from "the french farmhouse kitchen", eileen reece, exeter books,
1984.   isbn 0-671-06542-4
posted by stephen ceideberg; 
international recipes online 
on-line culinary discussion at food.chat: 
(ID: 12024) Mirror: rec.food.recipes: Sun, Jun 29, 2003

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