Since their peak in the 1940's, trees bearing the Gravenstein apple have been on a precipitous decline in California. Though its origins are Danish, the reddish-hued apple is an icon of Sonoma County based on its prevalence in the boom time for the micro-region north of San Francisco. But as the boom continued, vintners began to displace the apple orchards with grape vines and the Gravenstein began to slip away.
Fortunately for all, Albert Katz continues to turn this perfectly sweet and tart apple into a vinegar that trumps any apple cider vinegar we've tasted.
As is true of most vinegars produced using the Orleans method, there's so much more going on in this bottle than just acid. The vinegar has complex notes of warm spices, sweet apple flavor and a bracing acidity that highlights the fruit. Our absolute favorite use for this vinegar is for a pan-sauce. Sear a pork chop on both sides and finish it in the oven. When it's done to your liking, rest the chop under foil and over a medium heat, deglaze the pan with a few tablespoons of Gravenstein vinegar. Swirl in a few tablespoons of sweet butter and allow to reduce.
And as the saying goes, an apple a day keeps the doctor away. In this case, Albert swears by a tonic of Gravenstein vinegar, local honey and hot water every day!
Posted by Unknown on 24th Aug 2011
I've been using this vinegar for a couple of years. I was anxious to try it after reading about the health benefits of apple cider vinegar. It is easy to assimilate into your diet by using it in a salad dressing, mixed with apple juice or cider, or sprinkled onto wilted cabbage.
It tastes like fresh apple juice, with the "tang" of vinegar.
Posted by Ralph on 28th Jul 2011
I got a bottle a few days ago and have used this in a couple different vinaigrette and in 2 different deglazing sauces and the flavor always comes through. Wonderful!