Acetobacter is the genus of microorganism that turns sugars into acetic acid, which is the critical component of vinegar (it’s part of the kombucha culture too, and appears as a sort of trailing microkelp under the big off-white snot flapjack that is the byproduct of kombucha fermentation).
Like the human race, the race of acetobacteria boasts accomplishments ranging from the pedestrian to the sublime.
One of the sublime ones was delivered to me via Azahar’s friend Jessica, through U.S. Parcel Post (“WTF, did I forget ordering something from Amazon?”) last Monday, just in time to coincide with a comment from Az. I suspect some sort of cosmic conspiracy.
Jessica, you rock.
So we took in some tomatoes that had been ripening in the sun and were still warm when we sprayed the vinegar on them, and I understand this spray thing now because you would not want to lose a drop of this stuff in a pool on the plate, ye Gods, after my first slice of tomato I sprayed some in my palm and huffed it the way you would nose a wine and then tongued it up and told the Cute Engineer to stop what he was doing (eating mushrooms, as it happened) and do the same thing.
We did it with both. The Riserva was sharp but layered; think of the way the first bang of really cold air makes you snap awake in autumn, then apply it to a vinegar flavor. The Gran Riserva had no edges at all. It was tart in a way that got completely by the reflex that makes you pucker at a sour flavor; we scooped it up into our Jacobsen’s Organs like cats sampling a new friend. What the hell are they doing over there in Spain?
Well, they are making booze, for one other thing.
There is a noise that you sometimes hear from guys if you grab them in a way that makes your movie lose its PG rating. That is the noise my little engineer made when he sampled the Brandy de Jerez.
I thought it was pretty remarkable myself — it nosed of sherry but tasted only of brandy that had been, perhaps, caramelized in some elusive way — but I am a malt whisky bitch, and I am still inspecting the Whisky De Granada drop by drop, trying to decide what I am tasting in there. Barley, for one thing, much more prominently than in Scots distillations. There’s something else floating in the middle distance of the aroma. I can’t quite catch it.
Az, you know your public. Those people over at Ah Love can bite me.