Rich and delicious but never cloying, this vinegar is made from fermented bananas in Veracruz, Mexico.
You don't come across something as wonderful as this everyday. Racho Gordo's mild, fruity vinegar comes from the Casa Stivalet plantation in the beautiful state of Veracruz. Unlike some flavored vinegars, this isn't plain vinegar with banana flavor added; it's made from fermented platano machos, a breed of bananas somewhere between a regular banana and a plantain.
"The word addicted gets thrown around far too much when discussing food, but I will say that I’ve grown extremely fond of this vinegar’s fermented, funky flavor — like a supercharged version of ripe bananas. It’s smooth enough that you can take a sip straight from the bottle, but it’s best for cooking", says Grub Street's Chris Crowley.
Most people flip when they taste the vinegar. Of course it works as a key player in a salad dressing but enjoy with ceviches, in particular. A local Napa pastry chef mixed two parts banana vinegar with one part piloncillo (you could also use brown sugar) and drizzled it over vanilla ice cream.
The flavor is fruity, and while it's clearly banana, it's not too sweet or cloying. The acidity is 6%. Mixed in salads, there's a vague but wonderful tropical quality that transcends cuisines.
Ingredients: Banana Vinegar
12.3 fl oz bottle
Steve Sando founded Rancho Gordo on the idea that saving our New World foods is a critical pursuit; passion for heirloom beans has made this business a huge success. Sando’s beans are sought after by famous chefs like Thomas Keller and he’s frequently profiled in publications such as Bon Appetit, Saveur, and the New York Times. In reintroducing the best of the New World heirloom beans, Sando has created a sensation, and food-lovers everywhere will relish transforming this humble staple into a celebrated delicacy.
Photos by Steve Sando