Cider Vinegar, the Balsamic of the Midwest

The Ethicurean has a report from northern Ohio, where a contributor has fallen in love with local orchard-made cider vinegar. You might think that vinegar would be one of those tricky ingredients, like salt, that stump locavores. You’d be wrong: “The first whiff changed my mind about vinegar completely. This stuff was real, alive, and practically dancing its bubbly way around me, making me dizzy with delight.”

OK, so clearly I’ve never had good cider vinegar. (It sounds sort of scary.) The writer took her inspiration and ran through her cookbook shelf with it, adding cider vinegar to breads and cookies and making berry-infused vinegar. She got so carried away that someone at the orchard where she buys it reminded her, “That’s vinegar, you know, not cider.” Those of us in apple country still have lots of local fruit around; anyone who’s curious about do-it-yourself apple cider vinegar should read about a highly successful cider-vinegar-making venture last year on the Deliberate Agrarian blog.

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