The main theme for this food preservation session is making flavoured vinegars with herbs from the Richmond Sharing Farm. Karen demonstrated two types of flavoured vinegars i.e. Herb Vinegar and Fruit Vinegar.
The above are the herb vinegars we made which consist of winter savory vinegar, thyme vinegar and rosemary vinegar. Herb vinegars can be used in salad dressing or marinade recipes calling for white, or white wine vinegar. Be sure to taste as you go.
The above are the freshly picked herbs from the Richmond Sharing Farm brought by Arzeena, the coordinator of this program. The herbs include winter savory, rosemary, thyme, red and green basils.
For this demonstration, Karen brought several types of vinegars for us to taste and use for making flavoured vinegars. From left to right, pure white vinegar, white wine vinegar, champagne vinegar, sherry vinegar and red wine vinegar. I remembered seeing the price tag on the champagne vinegar was $13.99 and Karen told us that the white wine vinegar is about $4 per liter from Galloway.
Besides that, Karen also brought some flavoured vinegars from her home for us to try. The far right bottle is strawberry vinegar.
Among all the vinegars, I like the strawberry vinegar and champagne vinegar.
Source: Karen DW and The Vinegar Institute (USA)
|To make fruit vinegar, crush the fresh berries.
|Pack a clean jar with the crushed berries, about 1/3 to half full. Pour vinegar over, covering fruit completely. Stir, to remove large air pockets.
|Wipe off rim, cover tightly and refrigerate.After 2 weeks, taste your vinegar. Fruit vinegar can be stored indefinitely in the refrigerator, or strained into a sterilized jar and sealed for room temperature storage.
Fruit vinegar can be used to make Shrubs. A “Shrub” is basically any sort of cold drink made with vinegar. It is very refreshing.
In a tall glass (250-400 ml capacity), mix 1-2 tablespoons fruit vinegar, 1-2 teaspoons of sugar or honey; stir until sugar is dissolved. Add enough ice cubes to 1/2 fill the glass, then fill with sparkling or still water. Stir briefly to mix.
|To make herb vinegars, pack a clean jar with fresh herbs about 1/3 full, no stems as the stems will impart a woodsy flavour which is not so nice.
|Pour vinegar over, leaving about 1/2-inch (1 cm) of space at the top of the jar. Be sure to cover the herbs completely with vinegar.
|Cover tightly, and set aside to steep for 2 to 6 weeks. The flavour will infuse more quickly if the jar is placed in a sunny window but the vinegar may change colour.Taste the vinegar after a couple of weeks, and when the flavour meets your approval, remove the herbs, strain out any random solids. The flavoured vinegar can be transferred to smaller jars, or decorative bottles.
Vinegars are best stored in a cool dark place. Due to their high level of acidity, vinegars, without any solids, can last nearly indefinitely.