Written By Guest Writer Edibles / One ingredient Oct 3, 2011 Artisan Vinegar in the Okanagan SHARE VIA: Facebook Twitter PinterestThe Vinegar Works at Valentine FarmVinegar -one of the most important discoveries in food history dating back to ancient times and used around the world by almost every nationality, is often ignored and given little recognition, with the exception of Italy’s Balsamic Vinegar. But things are beginning to change. Vinegar now has its own International Vinegar Festival hosted by the tiny town of Roslyn in South Dakota, started in 2000 by the Vinegar Man, aka Lawrence Diggs, an international Vinegar Consultant, founder of Vinegars Connoisseurs International, the International Vinegar Museum and one of North America’s biggest advocates of vinegar. The festival is now celebrating its eleventh year.The Wall Street Journal announced this year that “vinegar is the key difference between amateur chefs and great chefs.” Vinegar, not the commercial vinegars which are usually made in less than 24 hours and are perfect for cleaning floors, but rather the artisan vinegars, handcrafted and carefully aged in small batches, are one of the best ingredients to bring out flavor in almost any dish- sauces, meats, casseroles, salads, soups, vegetables and fruits. A well-stocked selection of artisan vinegars- red wine, white wine, tarragon, and fruit infused are a must for any pantry. As a teaspoon or two of vinegar goes along way, artisan vinegars are a good investment for home chefs and for those on low sodium diets a wonderful substitute for salt.The Okanagan is home to artisan vinegar makers Kim Stansfield and John Gordon, owners of “The Vinegar Works” at Valentine Farm. Almost everything grown on their ten acre certified organic farm including grapes, apricots, raspberries, tarragon, and elderberry is used for making their handcrafted vinegars. Their passion for vinegar begins in making their own estate wine and yes there’s a lot more to vinegar than “sour wine”. The aging of their vinegars in either oak or stainless steel depending on style is taken as seriously as wine-making. The average time for each vinegar release from start to finish is four years and like cult wines some of their vinegars including the Wild Elderberry Vinegar are sold out immediately upon release. All of their wonderful vinegars are “estate grown” and one hundred percent organic.A repeated request from several of the Okanagan’s best chefs (devoted clients) led to the creation of Vinegar Works own VerJus- perfect for wine country because it provides the necessary acidity for salads, condiments and deglazing but does not taint the taste of wine. Verjus is made from pressing unripe grapes (or sour fruit like crab-apples) and is used in both Middle Eastern and French cuisine. Vinegar Works uses both their Pinot Meunier and Gewurztraminer grapes that are cut away from the vines during their pre-harvest crop thinning for making their VerJus. Try Verjus as a subtle replacement for lemon juice – wonderful in Hollandaise sauce, salads and on seafood. Unlike vinegar, VerJus does have a shorter shelf life of about 3 months and needs to be refrigerated.Part of the Bottleneck Drive wineries, the Vinegar Works tasting room is a must visit. Both Kim and John usually work the tasting room and will personally take you through a tasting of five or six of their vinegars. Bestsellers include Pinot Meunier Red Wine Vinegar, French Tarragon Infused Wine Vinegar, Raspberry Fruit Infused Wine Vinegar and White Balsamic. For ideas on how to spice up your cooking with vinegar visit Kim Stainsfield’s blog: http://Vinegartart.wordpress.com. Vinegar from Vinegar Works can be purchased directly from their farm, at selected retailers in British Columbia, or online at www.valentinefarm.com.Artisan ProductsOkanaganOne Ingredientvinegar SHARE VIA: Facebook Twitter Pinterest Written By: Guest Writer We get many people writing guest articles for us, as well as past contributors. This is the Guest ... Read More You may also like Bar / Recipes February 27, 2020 Kuma Bitters For those who can’t be bothered to finesse and monitor the blending process of the three-jar method written about in March| April’s Bar 101, here ... Read More Food News October 1, 2019 Rancho Vignola – Vancouver Island Harvest Sale Rancho Vignola – New Crop Nuts & Dried Fruit is hosting its annual Vancouver Island Harvest Sale on November 29th and 30th at ... Read More Food Events / Food News September 18, 2019 EAT Buzz Up-Island & Tofino September|October 2019 The Buzz Up-Island It’s high time for festival season! 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