Sexy Infusions Inspiring Chefs

Every time I pass the burgeoning shelves in my local markets, I note, with no small pleasure, the growing array of various oils and vinegars … many of which I have yet to sample, much less try to prepare in a salad dressing … but the change is for the better, as we amateur cooks dabble in these heretofore untried condiments …

All of the varied components of the vinegar — floral, herbal or oaky, smoky or sweet — are allowed to mature in the barrels, softening the acidity without diluting the flavor. And the longer the vinegars are aged, the more intensely flavored vinegars they become. A familiar example is the balsamic vinegars that have flooded the market over the last several years. One that’s been aged in wooden casks for 20 years and costs $169.99 a bottle will be much smoother but much more intensely flavored when tasted next to another priced at $15.99 that’s been aged for 6 years. Some of the most intensely flavored infusions begin by slowly pressing fruits such as blood oranges, Meyer lemons, black currants and grapefruit while at their peak to extract the fullest flavors from the oils and juices. Then the liquid is either fermented and acidified for vinegar, or married with fine oils…

Reported by Melissa Goodman

Sexy infusions inspiring chefs to grab oil and vinegar (ContraCostaTimes)

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