In a nutshell: Great Taste 2018 2-star award winner. This amazing thick, treacly prune vinegar will perk up your pork dishes and apple tarts or just drizzle over vanilla ice cream for a superb taste sensation.
This fabulously addictive prune vinegar is made from Pineau des Charentes rosé vinegar combined with Agen prunes, rosemary orange zest, black peppercorns, fleur de sel and a little sugar. The result is a thick, treacly elixir that enlivens all sorts of dishes - drizzle over pork, duck and liver dishes, add to terrines and pates, blue cheese salads and desserts. We also love it with vanilla ice cream, prune and apple tarts.
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.