In a nutshell: Great Taste 2018 1-star award winner. This gorgeous vinegar, made from dried figs and white Pineau des Charentes vinegar, great with duck and pork or a fragrant vinaigrette with walnut or hazelnut oil.
This sublime vinegar made from organic dried figs macerated with white Pineau des Charentes vinegar. The resultant honeyed, fig flavour makes it perfect for deglazing the pan after cooking duck breasts, pork tenderloin or foie gras. Try it also with cheese or drizzled over a fig tart or ice cream. For the perfect vinaigrette, combine with hazelnut or walnut oil and add to a lambs lettuce, beetroot and cheese salad.
We discovered the wonderful Fleuriet vinegars on a sourcing trip in France. Philippe and Françoise Fleuriet live in a charming old house in Rouillac deep in the heart of the 'Fins Bois' area, one of the six crus (delineated growth areas) of the Cognac region. The couple left their jobs in northern France 25 years ago to move to this quiet area. Their vinegar-making adventure began a decade ago when they accidentally created a vinegar mother out of Pineau des Charentes, the local aperitif made with wine fortified with a little cognac. Their production is small, ageing four-year-old white or rosé AOC Pineau des Charentes in old cognac barrels, each given names like 'Camille' and 'Pierre', in their vinaigrerie (vinegar cellar) next to the house. The vinegar then undergoes a slow, natural acetification for a further four or five months before bottling, unfiltered and without preservatives, or turning into a superb range of fruit flavoured vinegars. In their kitchen, they also use it to make small-batch additive-free confits, chutneys, jams and soups with home-grown seasonal heritage vegetables and fruits from their garden. Listed as one of top 100 French artisan producers by the prestigious Collège Culinaire de France - one of the best culinary institutes in the country founded by chefs like Alain Ducasse, Paul Bocuse, Joel Robuchon and Guy Savoy who all use their vinegar in their restaurants.