Culture / Food & Drink

Revival Of Hungarian Vinegar Culture

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For centuries, wine vinegar used to be an important ingredient for cooking purposes as well as its exceptional antiseptic effects to relieve minor injuries and diseases were well-known. With a high wine culture in Hungary, wine vinegar sector also flourished many years ago, but in the last few decades – like with so many things – local traditional organic wine vinegar production was almost inexistent. This negative trend is now changing – led by the founders of Tokaji Borecet Manufaktúra (Tokaj Wine Vinegar Manufactory) and their missionary venture.

At the bottom of the Tokaj hills and in midst of the Tokaj region, in Bodrogkeresztúr, Ferenc Formanek and his daughter, Csenge Formanek were dreaming about a family venture that could be passed down from generations to generations. As traditional organic wine vinegar culture and production was still a white spot on the market in Hungary a couple of years ago, this seemed to be the perfect idea to start thinking about a wine vinegar venture in this area. Tokaji Borecet Manufaktúra was founded about four years ago, their products have been launched a year ago  – and the start could not have been better.

In June 2012, the Tokaji Muscat Wine Vinegar was awarded with the “Superior Taste Award 2012” prize in Brussels. Superior Taste Award Prizes are granted by the most qualified and most challenging jury in the world. Hungarian fine cuisine chefs have already discovered this new gem for themselves, too.  Tamas Szell, Sous Chef at Onyx Restaurant as well as the first Hungarian chef competing and finishing at the fantastic 10th place at the Bocuse d’Or in Lyon a few days ago, used the wine vinegar from Tokaji Borecet Manufaktúra for his creations. These are obviously facts that underline the high quality standard of the young company.

Wine vinegars of Tokaji Borecet Manufaktúra are made of the best quality wines of hand-picked and selected grapes from the Tokaj wine region that mature in oak barrels. Award winning wine vinegar products are the result of careful attention, innovative technology, respect for tradition and patience. Products of Tokaji Borecet Manufaktúra are 100% organic and are made by biological fermentation, a process that preserves the original characters of the wines. Due to this special process, vinegars take on the unmistakable taste of Tokaji wines, along with the delightful aromas and flavours. It goes without saying that wine vinegars by Tokaji Borecet Manufaktúra do not contain any additives, are made of high quality wines and acetic acid bacteria.

Tokaji Borecet Manufaktúra offers a wide range of organic vinegars such as wine vinegar, balsamic vinegar, sherry vinegar, fruit and rice vinegar. Among their newest products we can find the Tokaji Wine Vinegar with Elderflower, Tsupp – a drinking vinegar with sour cherry and sweet Tokaji grape taste, the non-alcoholic Aperif, which is a mixture of silky apricot vinegar and sweet grape, and the vinegar specialty called Iceflower that is the union Tokaji Aszú Balsamic Vinegar, the fruity plum vinegar and vanilla.

It is absolutely great to see, how Hungarian traditions and values revive step-by-step based on century old know-how paired with modern technology. Csenge Formanek and her enthusiastic team are at the forefront of this new ‘movement’ and have founded the Hungarian Association of Wine and Fruit Vinegar Producers with the clear commitment to bring back Hungarian wine vinegar traditions and make them known again nationally and internationally.

For more information and for great recipes please visit Tokaji Borecet Manufaktúra website or their Facebook page. Products can also be purchased online.

Source of images: courtesy of Tokaji Borecet Manufaktúra.

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