Vinegar is a necessity in any kitchen. It can be used for salad dressings or marinades, to poach eggs, or even to cut down the sweetness level in a dessert, the possibilities go on and on. A few months back, Steve Martin, Kitchen Manager at Harry’s Pizzeria, had an idea: Why not use some of our Michael’s Genuine Home Brew to make some killer vinegar?
With this in mind, Steve decided to give a shout to his friend Chef Jonathon Sawyer at The Greenhouse Tavern in Cleveland who sent him over the most pivotal component to the vinegar making process: a mother! Chef Sawyer did not FedEx his Mom over to Steve, of course, but he did send a colony of acetobacter cells bound together with secreted cellulose that share the same name. These cells are what make it possible to transform the ethanol, or alcohol, present in our home brew into acetic acid, the part of the process which makes vinegar tastes like vinegar. Once you have that, the rest of the process requires some shade, a sterile environment, and time…a lot of time (see here for an incredibly detailed description if you want to make your own vinegar). Three months later the Genuine Hospitality Group was gifted with lovely, tangy, malty vinegar.
So far this vinegar has been featured in our Pesce Fritto Special at Harry’s as well as a chanterelle dinner special at Michael’s Genuine Food & Drink. Steve, who I’m personally deeming “Vinegar Master Extraordinaire,” currently has a batch of honey vinegar that is in the fermenting process. As of now there are no new plans for any menu dishes to feature our malt vinegar, but as Steve put it, “These things last forever” so stay tuned to the Harry’s twitter and instagram (@harryspizzeria) for our daily specials! We can only imagine the ideas a little bit of time will foster in the minds of our talented team and we cannot wait to try the honey vinegar once it’s ready!