I’d been looking for a really good North American cider vinegar for so long I can’t remember when I started. It’s crazy that it should be so hard to find. Cider vinegar was once a standard ingredient in kitchens across the continent.
After almost giving up, I actually happened upon a very nice one made in the Monteregie region of Quebec by Pierre Gingras, a third-generation apple grower. Gingras starts by crushing only whole, hand picked organic apples (no windfalls are used nor are scraps or scrapings from previous pressings) from his own orchard. The juice is allowed to convert to vinegar slowly and naturally and then spends two years in French oak barrels, where it mellows and matures.
Unfiltered and unpasteurized, it really does deliver true apple flavor. Perfect for salads, slaws, pickles and preserved vegetables.
We use this vinegar as the base for the eastern North Carolina vinegar barbecue sauce at Zingerman's Roadhouse.