Aigre-what?? Most Americans are not familiar with aigre-doux, unless you’re a classically trained chef. But the concept is something that is easily relatable - sour (aigre) and sweet (doux). The concept of opposite flavors in the same dish is an easy one; we see it all the time in simple condiments like vinaigrette, and complex dishes like barbecue The juxtaposition of opposing flavors ensures that neither overwhelms the palate, creating a pleasing combination that is neither too sweet nor too sour.
At Gilmer Farms, we’ve been experimenting with the concept of aigre-doux using vine ripened fruit, combined with delicate and flavorful vinegar and earthy spices to create a truly exquisite condiment. For those who love jam but find the sweetness not to their taste (all you vinegar fiends out there), this is the perfect addition to your pantry.
We are producing three flavors this season; blueberry, cranberry and mandarin. The best way to serve aigre-doux is to set a strainer over a bowl and strain the fruit from the liquid. Put the liquid in a small saucepan, boiling it until it’s thick and syrupy. Sometimes I add a bit of additional sugar if I want the sweeter qualities to shine through. Then, return the fruit to the sauce and serve it with cheese (blueberry is really good with an aged cheddar), as an accompaniment to meat, or on top of ice cream or cheesecake with some ginger snap cookies crumbled on top.
No matter how you use it, I think you’ll find aigre-doux a creative and delicious addition to your cooking. Use your creativity to explore this unique condiment, and as always, we love to hear about your results!