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From French Economist to Master Vinegar Maker

by | Aug 30, 2020 | Uncategorized

Image courtesy of Laurent Faure

Have you ever had a dream project that made you want to quit your day job?

Despite his training in statistics, economics, and finance, and several years spent working for an advisory firm, Laurent Faure had an idea that just wouldn’t go away. Unfortunately for his employer, and fortunately for us, he didn’t enjoy number- crunching.

The Economist Who Had a Gourmet Dream

His idea?  To produce fine artisanal vinegar from quality wine and flavored with local herbs or rare spices.

Few people were doing this, and yet consumers were receptive to the idea. They were tired of the insipid choice of vinegar offered by supermarkets. So Laurent created his label, Granhota.

Though the idea for Granhota was his own and founded on his knowledge of enology, he looked to his father’s and grandfathers’ experience in the family wine business to guide him.

He decided that only high quality, local, and natural wines from the Southwest of France would be used so that an exceptional product could be obtained. Some of the wines used were almost 10 years old!

A minimum of 2 years is necessary for a Granhota vinegar’s elaboration, using wines made without pesticides or chemical additives and flavored with rare spices.

Laurent is a fervent critic of mass-marketed vinegar: it’s often made from inferior ingredients, yielding a mediocre flavor and lacking personality.

He is also critical of what is often misrepresentation in vinegar sold in France as balsamic vinegar. The majority of this type of vinegar sold in French supermarkets is filled with chemicals (sulfites) and coloring to give the appearance of the authentic, aged product from Modena, Italy. However, if it is mass-produced, then the resemblance stops there.

Adding a High-Quality Twist to Everyday Cooking

Each Granhota vinegar is made to stand alone in traditional use such as salad dressings, vegetables, etc. This is how I have been using them. If you’ve seen a photo of my “Vinegar Forest” on Instagram, you’ll recognize the distinctive Granhota bottles in my kitchen.

However, Laurent has also designed them to be used in cooking, for example with fish, in « déglaçage » (deglazing) of meats or in sauces, without losing their character. This will delight gourmet cooks as well as those who just want to add a high-quality twist to their everyday cooking.

4 Granhota Vinegars I Use to Up-Level My Everyday Cooking:

  • Granhota Raspberry Red Wine Vinegar: With olive oil, mint and vanilla extract over sliced tomatoes (see my how-to video on IGTV:  Instagram: @nancyconwayparis)
  • Granhota Star Anis & Dried Ginger: With wok stir-fried vegetables
  • Granhota Black Timut Pepper from Nepal: To deglaze sea scallops or with olive oil in a green salad
  • Granhota Black Madagascar Pepper: for deglazing lamb or with olive oil in a grated carrot salad.

So you don’t have to be a great cook to have a delicious meal – you simply need to use excellent products! A top-quality vinegar and olive oil are a great place to start.

And now you: Have you ever tried a high-quality vinegar made by an artisan? Leave a comment and let me know!

And come on over and say “Hi” on Instagram:

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