Comdivo, Aceto Vivo, Unpasteurized Red Wine Vinegar
The house vinegar at Chez Panisse, this Aceto Vivo is richer, stronger and more full-flavored than probably any other (translate: commercial) red wine vinegar out there. It is made from richly rendered oak-aged Tuscan wine, and because it is unpasteurized (i.e. vivo), it retains an uncommon measure of vinous depth.
A few years back, we got a message from Alice Waters of Chez Panisse. She was traveling in Catalonia, Spaine and had stumbled upon this fine anchovy producer in the Costa Brava area. The rest is history and we can’t bring them in fast enough.
Anchovies are anchovies, some will say, and to a certain extent, they would be correct. There are almost no fish left in the Mediterranean Sea, so apart from a small local run, the local producers by their fish from Cantabrian waters in northern Spain. The Costa Brava producers are the masters of salting and de-salting the fish and this is what makes Callol I Serrats unique. Small batches cured with the highest quality fish purchased from trusted sources during the best anchovy runs makes all the difference.