Unless you are a truly dedicated reader of the blog you will have forgotten Hunky, Nirvana and Anne. These were the names for the three different types of pine needle vinegar that we made back in November.
Apparently a good pine needle vinegar can taste similar to balsamic vinegar.
This vinegar has been maturing in the barn since then. Last night we decided to sample it so I pulled on my boots and searched the preserves shelves with a torch.
The first we tried was Hunky. Aptly named as it took Danny a good ten minutes to open the metal ring, Finally he managed it with the help of a silicone trivet that doubles as a jar opener. We both hung back urging the other to go first,
“You made it so you should be the first to try it.”
“I think that you are more worthy of that honour.”
The nest of pine needles didn’t look at all appetising. Eventually stimulated more from curiosity than greed I reached for a teeny teaspoon and sampled a drop. Danny observed me closely - wanting the suspense to continue I didn’t comment (it was surprisingly good) and just passed the spoon to him.
He sniffed the open jar gently and put a drop on his tongue.
“It’s not at all bad. Aromatic, piney and interesting. Although I have never tasted raw Balsamic, this has the aroma of a good, pine-fragranted Balsamic.”
This evening D queried.
“Why haven’t we tasted Anne or Nirvana?”
I sloped into the barn and found them quickly. Danny was first on the tasting front.
“Well Nirvana doesn’t live up to its name,” he mused and I agreed.
“Let’s sample Anne.”
I went first this time. Anne was good. Very good. Clearer than the slightly fuzzy Hunky. So cutting the needles made a big difference.
I’ve decided to leave the pine needles in the vinegar for a few more weeks. We’ll be tasting them on a weekly basis. At the moment I have a longing to add a teaspoon of dark Muscovado sugar. If I still have this thought in two weeks time I will add some.
This is a recipe that is definitely worth trying if you still have some green pine needles kicking around.
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