So, I work at Zingerman’s, also known as “so much more than just a deli or a mail order”. I’ve checked out many a gourmet retail shops I’d rather not list and I can honestly say that we have the most thoughtful selection. Cheese, oil, vinegar or jams, our selection is vast yet cohesive, choosy with clear standards. But enough bragging, I want to talk vinegar.
There are many amazing vinegars at Zingerman’s and I’d be hard pressed to tell you which would be my desert island pick. But lately I’ve been really enjoying Gegenbauer Paprika vinegar. I love all things spicy and this vinegar really hits the spot.
It is artisanally made with care, just like fine wine. The peppers are grown in the rich pure soil of Austria’s alpine foothill and are hand-picked at their freshest. The juices of these peppers are cold pressed and then converted into vinegar. It is natural and unfiltered and is wonderful on a salad or vegetables, especially if you’re looking for a good alternative to the usual wine vinegar or if you’re not feeling the sweetness of balsamic vinegar. We all have days where sweet feels cloying and want something sassy instead.
My favorite way to use it is on my favorite salad with bite, composed of romaine lettuce or Nappa cabbage, generous helpings of red, orange and yellow bell peppers, scallions, slices of fresh Asian pears and Marcona almonds. I just make a simple vinaigrette with a splash of this vinegar, a couple drops of nutty oil (really! you don’t need much oil at all with this vinegar), toasted sesame seeds. With so much flavor, I often forget that this salad is so healthy.