Never in a million years would I have thought that I would get excited about vinegar. Vinegar, of all things. Either my life has gotten that dull (lol!) or this vinegar is really that exciting. An eternal optimist, I’m going with scenario two. :)
A couple months ago I received a few oil and vinegar samples from Vom Fass. Right away the name intrigued me; it means “from the cask” and it conjures up an old-world, artisanal feel, doesn’t it? I don’t know what I was expecting when I tried the samples, but whatever it was, everything I tried exceeded all my expectations. Scratch that; everything blew my mind.
2 Teaspoons Calamansi Vinegar + 1 Cup Sparkling Water = Ultimate Refreshment.
I started with the Waldburg Balsam Calamansi Vinegar. Vom Fass recommends adding 2 teaspoons of this vinegar to 1 cup of sparkling water. I’m not altogether unfamiliar with concoctions like this – I’ve been drinking ginger switchel in the morning for a long time now – but still, I wasn’t sure I’d like it. I chalk my skepticism up to the fact that any time someone tells you to add a shot of vinegar to your drinking water I guess it’s normal to be a little leery at first.
So anyway, since I’m all about trying anything once I happily obliged. I measured out my vinegar and water, gave it a quick stir, and then it was bottoms up. Or maybe more accurately, I took a little sip with trepidation. The lovely scent hit me first; it was beautifully bright and citrusy. One taste and I was completely hooked; hands-down, it is the most refreshing beverage I’ve had in a long time. Its flavor is fresh and citrusy with subtle flavor notes, and the bubbles from the sparkling water made it perfect. It tastes like the best fancy soda you’ve ever had, only minus the sugar and plus the fact that it’s actually refreshing to drink (soda always leaves me thirsty for water, not feeling refreshed). The wee sample bottle I received was the first to disappear from my pantry, as I couldn’t help make this drink just about daily.
I recently discovered that rosemary is fantastic paired with pistachio. And of course cheese doesn’t hurt either.
Next up was the Aceto Balsamico de Modena Maletti. Here’s what it says about this vinegar on the Vom Fass site: “A true work of art, Aceto Balsamico di Modena – Maletti is patiently aged in oak barrels to create a thick, natural reduction and its signature aroma, rich with notes of molasses and fruit. “Maletti” is a full-bodied vinegar with a rich taste of fig and dried cherry, finishing with hints of oak. This vinegar is the perfect complement to fresh fruit, aged cheeses, and ice cream. Try a few drops on seared tuna or flank steak, or drizzled over grilled asparagus. When combined with any of our Extra Virgin Olive Oils in dressings, don’t be surprised if you only want salad for dinner.”
I can fully attest to that description. This vinegar is unlike any balsamic I’ve ever had; it’s lusciously thick and rich, with various fruity notes. Really, if you’re trying to eat more salads this vinegar is the way to go. (But don’t stop there – I drizzled a little bit of this vinegar on strawberry-vanilla ice cream and it was amazing, and I can think of about 100 different equally delicious uses for it.)
The fruity Waldburg Balsam Pomegranate Vinegar not only made its way to a few salads (most notably a salad with dried cherries, almonds, and chicken that was pan-seared in oil and a touch of this vinegar), but I also used it in a Sweet Honey-Pomegranate Grilled Cheese Sandwich.
Now onto the treat I used in today’s recipe: Pistachio Oil. Open this bottle and you’ll think you died and went to heaven; its sweet, nutty aroma is nothing short of captivating, and if you’re anything like me, you’ll find yourself thinking of new ways to use it that the rest of the day. I’ve been using this oil a lot lately in different dishes, and I’m finding that it can be the perfect finishing touch for both sweet and savory dishes. It certainly added the perfect special something to this delicious pizza.
- 1 premade (8 to 9-inch) frozen thin pizza crust
- 4 tablespoons (60 g) ricotta cheese
- ½ small onion, thinly sliced
- 1 tablespoon shelled pistachios, coarsely chopped
- 1 teaspoon fresh rosemary, chopped
- 1 pinch each salt and pepper
- 1 teaspoon Vom Fass Pistachio Oil
- 1 teaspoon fresh grated parmesan cheese (for garnish)
- A few arugala leaves, torn (for garnish)
- Preheat oven to 375F. Read the pizza crust directions to see if you need to thaw it first or not (the directions on the package I used said the crust didn’t have to be thawed).
- Spread the ricotta onto the pizza crust, then top with the onion, pistachio, rosemary, salt, and pepper.
- Bake until the pizza crust is crisp and the onion is starting to brown in spots, about 7 to 10 minutes.
- Drizzle on the pistachio oil and top with the parmesan cheese and arugala. Serve immediately.
Of course I couldn’t give such a glowing product review and not share the product with you, so here’s the giveaway! One lucky winner will receive the Classic Variety Sampler Set pictured above, which includes samples of the following products: FassZination Hazelnut Oil; Waldburg Balsam Raspberry Vinegar; Chili Infused Sunflower Oil; Waldburg Balsam Mango Vinegar; Styrian Pumpkin Seed Oil; Waldburg Balsam Apple Vinegar; Agora Extra Virgin Olive Oil; Aceto Balsamico ‘Gold’ Vinegar.
You do not need to have a blog to enter this giveaway! To participate, you can do any of the following (please leave a separate comment for each so I can count them as separate entries):
- Leave a comment telling me the most refreshing beverage you’ve ever had (other than pure water!).
- Leave a comment telling me how you’d use pistachio oil.
- Share this giveaway on Facebook and leave a comment here telling me.
- Tweet this giveaway on Twitter and leave a comment here telling me.
This giveaway ends Tuesday, January 15, 2013 at 5AM EST. After that the winner will be randomly selected and notified by email. Good luck to all!
Disclaimer: I received samples of the vinegar and oil that I discussed in this post for free from Vom Fass, and they are also providing the prize pack for this giveaway. I was under no obligation to review this product, and as always, opinions stated are my own.