About The Taste: The Gravenstein Apple has played an important role in the history and culture of California’s western Sonoma Valley since the 1900s. By 1945 when plantings peaked, over 14,000 acres of the area were covered with Gravenstein apple trees. Unfortunately there are far fewer today with thousands of acres being replanted with grape vines. Slow Food has declared the Gravenstein apple to be a "Heritage" food that should be protected from further encroachment.
The fruit has long been sought after by chefs for its elegant balance of sweet and tart flavors and its crisp flesh. It also makes the best cider around. Here is where our efforts come in...we take this hard cider made from late ripening Gravenstein apples when the sugars are high, and then carefully and slowly convert the cider into vinegar using the traditional Orleans method. The result is a pleasant, traditional elixir, redolent of baked apples, honey and sweet spice balanced with a solid backbone of acidity.
About KATZ Traditional Orleans Method Vinegars: A few years ago, we ventured out to make wine vinegar using the centuries-old Orleans Method perfected over 500 years ago in France. Most vinegar today is produced by a system that takes just hours, but removes most of the taste and the nutrients, and the 'art' of making this ancient elixir. In contrast, authentic barrel aged vinegar like ours is converted slowly over many months from quality wines and fermented juices with the starter - the 'mother' - in oak barrels. This is the way we do it in our 1865 Suisun Valley Vinegar House, and the result is a complex, rich elixir with fine balance and subtle complexity.
More About Cider Vinegar: Now...as for the doctor part of the story...apple cider vinegar has been a folk remedy used for hundreds of years. Its beneficial claims include: aides in digestion, lowers blood pressure, helps with weight control (the claim we see most often), improves memory and last but not least, relieves arthritis. Around here, we have taken to making up a "tonic" every afternoon of a tablespoon of barrel aged apple cider vinegar, a tablespoon of honey and a tablespoon of warm water. We plan on trying to keep the doctor away for as long as possible!
You'll find dozens of recipes for our traditional Orleans Method Vinegars on our From The Vinegar House page...
Use the balanced sweet and sour component to complement many of your culinary creations. Be inspired!
Please Note: Any sediment that may settle on the bottom of your bottle is a sign of the natural, handcrafted process in which the vinegar was made and can be simply filtered through a strainer, if you like, and poured back into the bottle.
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