The Vinegar Lady

Ah-But-a-BingVinegar is one of the world’s most widely used condiments—every culture around the world utilizes the pantry staple. The Italians love their robust balsamics; the Japanese favour the lighter tastes of plum and rice-wine vinegars. What do we North Americans prefer?  Sadly, statistics show the most commonly purchased variety of vinegar on these shores is that mass-produced, lifeless brew—replete with sulphur dioxide, colorants and “flavourings”—- known as “white-distilled-vinegar.” Thankfully, things are poised for change. There are a growing number of skilled artisans in North America producing delicious high-quality vinegars made solely from pure, healthy ingredients.  One of the best is North Vancouver’s Wanda Dixon—aka “The Vinegar Lady.”


I was recently introduced to her scrumptious line of fruit vinegars by the good folks at Island Meat and Seafood. What is my “good for you” verdict? Dixon’s exquisitely bottled vinegars are literally bursting with the fresh flavour of BC’s most succulent fruits and are guaranteed to inspire culinary creativity, even in those who proclaim themselves “utterly hopeless” in the kitchen. So far I’ve tried the blueberry, raspberry and cherry varieties, but I’m certain the entire line will be in heavy rotation in my little kitchen this summer!


I’ll be adding the bottles to a few gift baskets I have to make as well—they’re so aesthetically appealing and each comes with one of Dixon’s superb recipes along with delectable suggestions from some of Canada’s top chefs. While I toyed with making the recommended recipes, I found the bold taste of the vinegars ultimately led me to follow my own whimsy. With the cherry variety I created a zingy glaze for chicken breasts stuffed with goat cheese; the raspberry ended up as the key ingredient in a zesty poppy seed vinaigrette and the blueberry vinegar inspired a beautifully-hued gooey dessert sauce that I drizzled on everything from Greek yogurt to vanilla gelato.


My personal recommendation of the product is based on more than just taste and aesthetic appeal however—vinegar is also decidedly healthy.  If that surprises you, consider this—recent studies have demonstrated that daily intake of vinegar can help reduce body weight, waist circumference, visceral fat and triglyceride levels without ANY other adjustments to the diet. Other studies have shown the tangy condiment helps people feel full longer making them less likely to snack in between meals. There are  more good reasons to keep the vinegar bottle handy— nutritional scientists have also found that taking vinegar with meals causes blood sugar and insulin levels to rise more evenly. Furthermore, emerging animal research suggests vinegar may be helpful in reducing high blood pressure.  Given this product’s great taste, versatility and surprising health benefits, I can do little else but give it a hearty thumbs up.

The Vinegar Lady

3.5 stars


Available in Victoria at: Island Meat and Seafood, Market on Millstream, Charelli’s Cheese Shop & Delicatessen.

Vancouver locations include:  Urban Fare, The Gourmet Warehouse, Whole Foods. 



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