a Tuscan mentor called Franco

Interesting idea about making apple cider balsamic vinegar. Presumably that would involve leaving the cider vinegar to mature and concentrate through evaporation at a slow rate in oak casks or something like that.

stellar violets

Ever since meeting Franco, I’ve wanted to make more with our apples.

Apple juice and cider are obvious progressions; I also want to make our own apple balsamic vinegar. We made Granny’s Apple Juice in a factory on farm when I was a kid, selling it in 2L glass bottles. I still remember the taste of foamy, just-pressed juice.

At Slow Food’s Terra Madre in 2010, I was after an early morning espresso and said a friendly bonjourno to an older Italian man as I passed. He said hello back in a much better accent, and asked if I knew where he could get a coffee.

Franco turned out to be a biodynamic farmer from Tuscany. With his family he grows ancient grains, grinds them into flour with a traditional mill, and makes Demeter-certified pasta. He also has a small orchard of heritage Italian apples that he makes into…

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