MY SECRET INGREDIENT...SPICED BLACK RICE VINEGAR
Spiced Black Rice Vinegar is a product that is less than 3 months old in the UK retail marketplace and is now one ingredient that I couldn’t cook without. Versatile products are often well over-used, but one taste of this product will certainly bring lots of ideas to any serious food fan. I can still remember my first ever taste: the week before my new job I was sent a lovely big box of new products to try, and this was my favourite. It was 7.30am and I had been up since 5am waiting on my delivery, sitting by my bedroom window overlooking Exmouth Market because our front doorbell didn’t work! The package finally came and I rushed to the kitchen to try everything.
SunBlush tomatoes, chilli infused extra virgin olive oil, whole chestnuts, pre-cooked Puy lentils, spiced black rice vinegar and many more treats. A tablespoon of the thick, black syrup-like liquid was all that I needed to be transported back to Christmas pudding. Cinnamon, orange, clove, aniseed, pepper and liquorice combining to give a fantastic and surprising tasting vinegar. I have since used it in ‘mulled’ cider, Chinese hot & sour soups, a base for caramelised grains, Asian stir-fries, marinating fish and chicken, poaching pears and even to flavour honeycomb.
It is available on the Merchant Gourmet website or in Waitrose. Try it, you’ll love it and dinner guests will be incredibly impressed.