August 18, 2009

Well, not New Mexico and Pomegranate Juice

So I moved- Not to New Mexico.

Ha! How 'bout that, life is interesting!

So I bought a 110 year old house in upstate NY, and am in the process of renovating it, which is a trip in and of itself. It's been taking most of my attention, which has led me to neglect this blog a bit, and for that I apologise.

However, I have been concocting some foodie experiments on the sly. I'm actually quite pleased with how it's turned out. The experiment was spearheaded by the fact that I was contacted by POM Wonderful, and they asked me if they could send me some free product. Well sure! Send away. So I became the proud and happy owner of a box of POM Wonderful pomegranate juice.
So I started think of all the wonderful things I could do with the juice.

The other catalyst was that I found in my new local grocery store a bottle of Bragg's Cider Vinegar which is undistilled or cooked, and still contains the "mother", or, the bacteria necessary for the fermentation of sugar into vinegar.

Can you see where I'm going with this?

Yes! I decided to see if I could turn some of the POM Wonderful Pomegranate juice into pomegranate juice vinegar. Many juice manufacturers add preservatives to juice to prevent it from naturally turning into vinegar on the shelf. The fact that the mother of vinegar culture took hold in the pomegrante juice and started doing it's thing backed up POM Wonderful's claim that their juice does not contain preservatives. Great for vinegar! If you can't get juice from a non-preservative brand, or make your own, frozen juice concentrate is the way to go.

I was unprepared for the onslaught of fruit-flys. I found that I had to rubberband my coffee-filter to my jar and that kept it safe. But wow...they must like the smell of vinegar doing it's thing. Also, mother of vinegar forming is rather unattractive. This is a great article on making vingegar from left-over wine, complete with a photo of the mother.

I found a really yummy recipe using pomegranate vinegar that sounds tasty. I already do something similiar with balsamic. However, pomegranate juice is such a beautiful ruby color, I imagine this has a pretty look to it.

Must note though, homemade vinegar is really strong. Most store-bought vinegar is already diluted, and if I tried to use 1/4c of my homemade vinegar undiluted like the recipe calls for, my mouth would turn inside out. I don't know of any real hard and fast rules for dilution. Most commercial vinegar is diluted to 5% acidity, but I just dilute to taste.

Anyway, enjoy!