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Brightening Up The Kitchen with Fresh Fruit Vinegar Mangé Le Gastronome

If, like me, you’re a lover of cooking with different types of vinegar, this should be right up your alley! I’d have a hard time counting all of the bottles of vinegar on my counter and in my pantry, which include champagne vinegar, rice vinegar, sherry vinegar, cider vinegar, white vinegar, red and white wine vinegar, aged balsamic vinegar, as well as a number of flavored balsamic vinegar. I use them all and I have to control myself when I see a new one that sounds interesting because I am running out of space! So I was happy to have the opportunity to review a line of Fresh Fruit vinegar by Mangé Le Gastronome.

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When my package from Mangé arrived, the first thing that stood out was that their Fresh Fruit vinegar look different from anything I had on hand. The clear trial sized glass bottles they came in showcased their beautiful colors. The Mango sample was the exact color of the inside of a mango and the White Peach was a pinkish peach color. Rather than the thicker consistency of many flavored balsamic, these looked more like the consistency of a lush nectar or juice. The gorgeous appearance and color of these is impressive considering they contain no synthetic dies or for that matter artificial preservatives.

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Wanting to see what other flavors are available, I checked out Mangé Le Gastronome’s website at www.mange-legastronome.com and discovered there are 11 in total: Mango, Green Apple, Cherry, Red Pepper, Blackberry, White Peach, Pear, Blood Orange, Raspberry, Passion Fruit, and Fig. The packaging of these fruit vinegars is stunning and the vibrant colors just cry out, “Drink me…”. But what did they actually taste like? The sample bottles were fairly small and I wanted to be able to try them out in a couple of dishes so I decided to just take a little taste initially of each so I could ponder how I might use each of them.

First, I tasted the Mango which had an immediate sour tartness upfront with a little sweetness and an earthy back note. Next up, the White Peach, which was much more forward in the peach flavor with a bit of tartness and a nice sweetness. This was going to be fun!

One of the things I learned while working with the Mangé Fresh Fruit Vinegars is they can not only be an exciting source of inspiration for new dishes of your own, but they can be used as a replacement ingredient that will add a refreshing, vibrant twist to your existing recipes. The Mangé website even offers recipe and cocktail recommendations for each of their vinegars.

Here is how I incorporated the two vinegars I received into some simple recipes of my own:

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A riff off of a shrimp ceviche using a quickly poached shrimp, red pepper, and avocado all tossed in lime juice and the Mango Fresh Fruit Vinegar, with a little cilantro, jalapeno and sea salt.

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A tropical take on the shrimp “ceviche” with poached shrimp and banana tossed in the Mango Fresh Fruit Vinegar, red pepper, cilantro, and a sprinkle of sea salt.

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A vanilla bean gelato topped with fresh berries and toasted almonds in vanilla and browned butter, a few splashes of White Peach Fresh Fruit Vinegar, a few grates of nutmeg and mint leaf. In hindsight, macerating the berries in the White Peach Vinegar would further bring out the white peach flavor.

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A Greek yogurt and berry parfait topped with almond granola and honey and splashed with White Peach Fresh Fruit Vinegar.

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And finally, from Mangé Le Gastronome’s website, a wonderfully refreshing Bellini…had to work a cocktail in there somewhere.

Well needless to say, after all of that I was stuffed and I am sad to say my samples are gone… in one day. So, I plan on ordering more to play with, perhaps this time in some marinades, dipping sauces, and dressings. But I have to decide which to try next. Hmmmmm…. My order will definitely include more of the White Peach. Tastes like summer. I could drink it plain. And given some of the health benefits of vinegar, maybe I should.

You may be asking, “Where can I buy these so I can start going crazy with my own recipes?”. While according to their website, there are no stores carrying these vinegars yet in California, you can order them on-line through Mangé Le Gastronome’s website at www.mange-legastronome.com

You may also be interested in checking out Chef/Owner, Christopher Spivak’s Kickstarter campaign, which will enable his company to expand production capability to get more product out. The campaign is set to close at the end of this month. Personally, I enjoy seeing creative, talented people succeed where their passions lie. And as a consumer I love the diversity of products independent business owners bring to the table.

Dana Wilde grew up playing “sous chef” for her father as he churned out one amazing meal after the next for family and friends. She inherited her father’s life long passion for cooking and has spent the past two decades studying, reading, practicing, experimenting, and creating in the kitchen. Together, she and her sister, Shan are Simply Wilde, a small boutique catering business focusing on in-home entertaining.
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