THE MEDITERRANEAN DIET: Foods, Recipes & Benefits
A way of eating based on traditional foods
Sherry vinegar is a one-of-kind ingredient and one for which cooks should never accept any substitute. It’s should always be the vinegar of choice, especially for creating Spanish cuisine and Mediterranean dishes. It’s even being used in gourmet burgers.
Imbued with a variety of complex flavors, two aged types are available – Reserva, which is aged a minimum of two years and Gran Reserva that requires 10 years of careful aging to produce its unique essence, flavors, and more than 80 aroma compounds. Authentic Spanish sherry vinegar is protected by the "Denominación de Origen" designation.
Sherry vinegar begins with grapes for which Spain is well-known. It’s aged and matured in oak barrels, a method that makes it a superstar in the vinegar market. Instead of being fortified during the aging process for traditional wine, artisans extend the fermentation process and specific bacteria are added that converts alcohol into acetic acid. As normal water evaporation takes place from each batch, the flavors intensify.
In addition to the aging process, sherry vinegar can also be classified by the grapes used in its creation. Each grape variety has its own attributes and distinctive qualities that affect its taste, color and consistency. Even after it’s opened, sherry vinegar has a significant shelf life when stored in a cool, dry and dark location.
Authentic Spanish sherry vinegar has a vibrant flavor, full of nutty accents that blend well and complement other spices and ingredients that encompass soy sauce, ginger, honey and those with bacon fat. It has a slightly sweet flavor, it’s heart-healthy and also acts as a tenderizer for meat. Sherry vinegar can be used in multiple ways that include:
Sherry vinegar is essential in classic Spanish dishes that include gazpacho and Romesco Sauce. Cooks can use a splash of it in the same way they would a fish sauce or lemon. It’s especially tasty in dishes where nuts and fruits are a primary ingredient and it’s utilized extensively in French cuisine.
No longer used strictly for obtaining a “taste of Spain,” sherry vinegar has found its way into the hearts and kitchens of home cooks and professional chefs to invigorate traditional dishes from lands far from its native home.
Spanish sherry vinegar is elite among vinegars, adding exotic tones that can be used in any cuisine to complement, enhance, and breathe new life into any dish.