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Quality Vinegar Source
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    Post #1 - July 19th, 2010, 2:28 pm
    Post #1 - July 19th, 2010, 2:28 pm Post #1 - July 19th, 2010, 2:28 pm
    A perfect storm of running out of Red Wine, Sherry and Champagne vinegars all at the same time has befallen me. Does anyone know of a vinegar source in Chicago that would have these and other vinegar varietals? Since I've got to replenish my supply anyway, I might as well explore the world of vinegar at the same time. I figure my first stop will be Fresh Farms in Niles, which seems to have at least a little bit of just about everything, but I'm wondering where else might be worthwhile. Caputo's or other Italian markets maybe? A vinegar superstore perhaps?

    P.S. If I was in Tampa, I'd be heading to Mazzaro's vinegar & oil aisle.

    Image
    Steve Z.

    “Only the pure in heart can make a good soup.”
    ― Ludwig van Beethoven
  • Post #2 - July 19th, 2010, 3:11 pm
    Post #2 - July 19th, 2010, 3:11 pm Post #2 - July 19th, 2010, 3:11 pm
    Hi,

    Your picture of the vinegar and oil aisle looks just like Tenuta's in Kenosha.

    Regards,
    Cathy2

    "You'll be remembered long after you're dead if you make good gravy, mashed potatoes and biscuits." -- Nathalie Dupree
    Facebook, Twitter, Greater Midwest Foodways, Road Food 2012: Podcast
  • Post #3 - July 19th, 2010, 3:13 pm
    Post #3 - July 19th, 2010, 3:13 pm Post #3 - July 19th, 2010, 3:13 pm
    Cathy2 wrote:Hi,

    Your picture of the vinegar and oil aisle looks just like Tenuta's in Kenosha.

    Regards,



    Yes it does (Mazarro's is actually much bigger). Good call.
    Steve Z.

    “Only the pure in heart can make a good soup.”
    ― Ludwig van Beethoven
  • Post #4 - July 19th, 2010, 7:26 pm
    Post #4 - July 19th, 2010, 7:26 pm Post #4 - July 19th, 2010, 7:26 pm
    Go to the European Imports sale tomorrow (Tues) morning.
    Coming to you from Leiper's Fork, TN where we prefer forking to spooning.
  • Post #5 - July 20th, 2010, 1:50 am
    Post #5 - July 20th, 2010, 1:50 am Post #5 - July 20th, 2010, 1:50 am
    Rick T. wrote:Go to the European Imports sale tomorrow (Tues) morning.


    And where would that be?
    Steve Z.

    “Only the pure in heart can make a good soup.”
    ― Ludwig van Beethoven
  • Post #6 - July 20th, 2010, 5:18 am
    Post #6 - July 20th, 2010, 5:18 am Post #6 - July 20th, 2010, 5:18 am
    stevez wrote:And where would that be?

    European Imports Ltd.
    2475 N. Elston Ave.
    Chicago, IL 60647
    1-800-323-3464
    www.eiltd.com
    One minute to Wapner.
    Raymond Babbitt

    Low & Slow
  • Post #7 - July 20th, 2010, 5:20 am
    Post #7 - July 20th, 2010, 5:20 am Post #7 - July 20th, 2010, 5:20 am
    Cathy2 wrote:Your picture of the vinegar and oil aisle looks just like Tenuta's in Kenosha.
    I thought the exact same thing.

    Tenuta's

    Image
    One minute to Wapner.
    Raymond Babbitt

    Low & Slow
  • Post #8 - July 20th, 2010, 6:10 am
    Post #8 - July 20th, 2010, 6:10 am Post #8 - July 20th, 2010, 6:10 am
    I've been checking this thread often hoping to find a good answer to this question myself. Finding decent vinegar is hard. Places like Jewel & Costco are ok for gallon jugs of cider vinegar, but their selection of wine vinegars is terrible. Whole Foods has them, but they are expensive for what you get. Old Town Oil has a lot of balsamics, and a little red, white, and champagne vinegars. Last time I needed a refill, I went to Bari (on Grand) thinking they'd be a good source for inexpensive olive oil and wine vinegars. No harvest/production dates on the olive oils (which is not uncommon among cheap stuff) and a small, but decent, selection of vinegars.

    The main problem I find is that, apparently, 99.9% of the vinegar in Chicago is Balsamic (excluding white distilled and cider). It is startling how much shelf space is devoted to balsamic and how little is devoted to white wine, red wine, and champagne vinegars.

    Thanks for the tip about European Imports.

    Old Town Oil
    http://www.oldtownoil.com/index.php
    520 North Wells Street
    Chicago, Illinois 60610
    P: 312 787-9595

    Edited to change D'Amatos to Bari (a natural mistake).
    Last edited by Darren72 on July 20th, 2010, 10:27 am, edited 1 time in total.
  • Post #9 - July 20th, 2010, 6:26 am
    Post #9 - July 20th, 2010, 6:26 am Post #9 - July 20th, 2010, 6:26 am
    I haven't walked through a Treasure Island in a while, but I always remember them having a respectable selection.
  • Post #10 - July 20th, 2010, 7:00 am
    Post #10 - July 20th, 2010, 7:00 am Post #10 - July 20th, 2010, 7:00 am
    Darren72 wrote:Old Town Oil has a lot of balsamics, and a little red, white, and champagne vinegars.
    I was impressed with the quality of OTO's selection. Though they are not shy in the pricing department.
    One minute to Wapner.
    Raymond Babbitt

    Low & Slow
  • Post #11 - July 20th, 2010, 7:17 am
    Post #11 - July 20th, 2010, 7:17 am Post #11 - July 20th, 2010, 7:17 am
    G Wiv wrote:
    Darren72 wrote:Old Town Oil has a lot of balsamics, and a little red, white, and champagne vinegars.
    I was impressed with the quality of OTO's selection. Though they are not shy in the pricing department.


    Agreed. It is fun place to visit. They have a lot of oils, vinegars, and mixtures set up for tasting.
  • Post #12 - July 20th, 2010, 8:25 am
    Post #12 - July 20th, 2010, 8:25 am Post #12 - July 20th, 2010, 8:25 am
    G Wiv wrote:
    Darren72 wrote:Old Town Oil has a lot of balsamics, and a little red, white, and champagne vinegars.
    I was impressed with the quality of OTO's selection. Though they are not shy in the pricing department.


    The problem I have with this place and the other similar shop in Andersonville is the fact that they don't seem to have a quick enough turnover in their (overpriced) olive oil to insure freshness and their selection of vinegars is very limited. I'm going to check out Treasure Island today. I seem to remember them having a decent selection.
    Steve Z.

    “Only the pure in heart can make a good soup.”
    ― Ludwig van Beethoven
  • Post #13 - July 20th, 2010, 10:49 am
    Post #13 - July 20th, 2010, 10:49 am Post #13 - July 20th, 2010, 10:49 am
    Purchased several 500ml bottles of Cannonau (Italian varietal grape) red wine vinegar at the EI sale today for $3.75 each. We like it very much and always look for it.
    Coming to you from Leiper's Fork, TN where we prefer forking to spooning.
  • Post #14 - July 22nd, 2010, 10:37 am
    Post #14 - July 22nd, 2010, 10:37 am Post #14 - July 22nd, 2010, 10:37 am
    When I made raspberry white wine vinegar with last year's bumper crop of berries, I asked myself "where would an elderly Italian go to buy wine vinegar for a good price?"

    I found a number of imported wine vinegars at the Butera at Cumberland and Montrose, all at a very reasonable price.

    Next I ask myself where an elderly lottery player would buy a winning ticket . . . .

    Giovanna
    =o=o=o=o=o=o=o=o=o=o=o=

    "Enjoy every sandwich."

    -Warren Zevon
  • Post #15 - July 22nd, 2010, 12:21 pm
    Post #15 - July 22nd, 2010, 12:21 pm Post #15 - July 22nd, 2010, 12:21 pm
    If you want to try some fantastic flavored vinegars, Old Town oil is your spot. The strawberry vinegar is so good, it is all you need as a salad dressing.
  • Post #16 - July 23rd, 2010, 12:41 am
    Post #16 - July 23rd, 2010, 12:41 am Post #16 - July 23rd, 2010, 12:41 am
    Freddy's.

    I also hit Graziano's, Tony's, and Caputo's to stock my V & O reserves, but can't guarantee each would have multiple offerings of each requested type.

    Oil & Vinegar (brand) stores are gone from Illinois, but check out the selection online (link is to tap, but prepackaged selections can also be found on the site):

    http://thewoodlands.oilandvinegarusa.co ... e-tap.html

    I was surprised at the quality and flavor of a few I received as a gift from these largely mall-based stores.

    You can also try Olive & Well in Oak Park, a good pairing with an early dinner at Gaetano's, where I'd hope you'd catch the chef himself this time (he is very opinionated on oils and vinegars).
  • Post #17 - July 29th, 2010, 7:54 am
    Post #17 - July 29th, 2010, 7:54 am Post #17 - July 29th, 2010, 7:54 am
    Since I'm not too fond of balsamic for everyday use, I'm always looking for good quality aged red wine vinegar, Champagne vinegar or Xeres vinegar.
    I recently found out that Fresh Farms International on West Touhy avenue in Niles has a very decent selection of European vinegars, including good Italian and French, at more affordable prices than in stores mentioned upthread like Treasure Islands or Caputo.
  • Post #18 - July 29th, 2010, 8:07 am
    Post #18 - July 29th, 2010, 8:07 am Post #18 - July 29th, 2010, 8:07 am
    It's not a vinegar superstore and it's been a while since I've been in, but have you considered City Olive in Andersonville? (You could visit after having your pizza at Great Lake! :wink: )

    5408 North Clark Street
    Chicago, Illinois 60640
    773-878-5408 (phone)
    Sunday 11:00am – 6:00pm
    Monday – Closed
    Tuesday – Thursday 11:00am – 6:30pm
    Friday 11:00am – 6:30pm
    Saturday 10:00am – 6:00pm
    Gypsy Boy

    "I am not a glutton--I am an explorer of food." (Erma Bombeck)
  • Post #19 - July 18th, 2011, 3:42 pm
    Post #19 - July 18th, 2011, 3:42 pm Post #19 - July 18th, 2011, 3:42 pm
    Thread Bump.

    Canning season is upon us and I have this dilemma as well. Anyone know where I can get large quantities of a good champagne wine vinegar in Chicago.

    I love basic white but always find it a bit harsh when canning. I do use it for cleaning house & think it's excellent for that purpose. :mrgreen:

    I just drained a bottle of Colavata Champagne wine vinegar, acidity is 7% so should be fine for canning and would love to find a vat of it or something similar.
    Ava-"If you get down and out, just get in the kitchen and bake a cake."- Jean Strickland

    Horto In Urbs- Falling in love with Urban Vegetable Gardening
  • Post #20 - July 18th, 2011, 3:48 pm
    Post #20 - July 18th, 2011, 3:48 pm Post #20 - July 18th, 2011, 3:48 pm
    I've been buying a lot of vinegar from Piatto Pronto, which is on Clark St between Olive and Bryn Mawr in Andersonville. I would call this a mid-market Italian-ish deli. They have a good selection of oils and vinegars. I don't know if they have Champagne vinegar (but they probably do). I've been buying liter-jars of red and white wine vinegar for pickling, etc.

    Piatto Pronto
    5624 North Clark Street
    Chicago, IL 60660-4109
    (773) 334-5688 ‎

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