Oil and vinegar bottles
Countless dishes are enhanced by the use of vinegar or oil, boosting enjoyment immeasurably. These two condiments are, moreover, healthy by any standards and require plenty of experience and expertise in their manufacture. Sophisticated cooking oils and the finest vinegar specialities are surely among the most high-quality liquids to be found in our bottles.
Early on in history – in around 3,500 BC – the first oil press was in operation on Crete. Even back then, people were aware of the healthy fatty acids contained in cooking oils and recognised their manifold uses and benefits. Cooking oils were very scarce at this time, although the olive oil trade helped the people of the Mediterranean area to prosper. While animal fats such as butter or lard reigned in kitchens in German-speaking countries until well into the 20th century, Mediterranean peoples were using oil for roasting and enhancing many dishes.
Manufacturing cooking oils
High-quality oils can be extracted from plants or even from marine animals. Seeds, kernels or nuts are pressed to obtain vegetable oils, while marine animal oil is derived mainly from whales or herring. The flavour and the colour of plant oils are determined by a number of factors, including the cultivation area, climate, the ripeness of the plant as well as the production process itself. The consequence of this is a mind-boggling diversity of flavours. It is essential to transfer this into our oil bottles in as unadulterated a fashion as possible.
In southern Europe, oils are stored for a while in other containers, mostly oil barrels, before being filled in bottles. In central Europe, there is a preference for filling this precious liquid straight into the bottles. The UV protection afforded by the glass and the closure system must protect the oils from harmful environmental influences from the outset.
If you look into the history of vinegar, you will find containers over 8,000 years old dating back to the Egyptians and Assyrians, which still exhibit residue from seasoning and preservatives. Refreshments derived from vinegar were manufactured in various cultures around the world – the Egyptians even brewed vinegar beer. In Babylon, hunters’ prey was dipped in vinegar to kill fungi and bacteria and to keep the food fresh for longer. In medicine too, vinegar found widespread approval against respiratory diseases, digestive complaints and as a disinfectant.
Manufacture of high-quality vinegar
Fine vinegar specialities can be made from a wide variety of raw materials. Acetic acid bacteria are used to ferment alcoholic liquids. All sorts of source materials are suitable as a basic raw material: fruit vinegars are widespread, particularly apple, raspberry or grape, but also exotic fruits such as banana, coconut or cherry can be processed into fine vinegar products. Wines and brandies (firewaters) are equally suitable for producing vinegar, even vodka and whisky. Grain, vegetable and rice vinegars are not so widespread.
This results in a practically unlimited variety of flavour options that can even be expanded multiple times. After the manufacturing process, it is in fact possible to infuse vinegar with herbs and spices, usually sage, garlic or tarragon. Blends of various vinegar varieties are extremely common and reveal unique flavour variations.