A 37-year-old food engineer from Algoz has launched his own brand of “100% Algarvean vinegars”.
The ‘Fateixa’ vinegars are made with local ingredients including apricots, carobs, grapes, ginger, figs, strawberries and loquats, as well as a variety of herbs such as thyme, myrtle and fennel – all of which are grown at a family property in Silves.
“It is a product with a 100% Algarvean soul,” says the project’s mentor David Santo.
Speaking to Barlavento newspaper, he explains that the vinegars showcase the Algarve’s fruits and herbs which are “so often forgotten”.
The bestseller is, “without a doubt”, the vinegar made with figs, grapes, thyme and ginger.
What sets his vinegars apart from the rest are the “intense aroma and complex flavour”, which are obtained through a “special artisanal process”.
The vinegars are made using the Orleans method, “one of the oldest productions methods” which creates vinegars with “very intense aromatic components, a clear appearance with the presence of a few sediments and a complexity of flavours”.
The project has been backed, since its humble beginnings in 2016, by the University of the Algarve, which helps with quality control.
Says Santo, the goal for the future is to present the vinegars not only to renowned chefs in the Algarve but also barmen who can use them to make shrubs, a kind of vinegar-based cocktail which is becoming increasingly popular.
But the vinegars can be purchased by anyone and used in a variety of ways.
“How the vinegars are used is left to anyone’s imagination,” the food engineer says.
They are sold in 250ml bottles and cost €4.50. The brand also plans to start selling 100ml bottles at national airports.
For its first year of production, Fateixa expects to produce around 2,000 litres of vinegar and hopes to achieve an organic certificate for the brand, while continuing to improve the production process and its varieties.
Santo also plans to carry out workshops to showcase the “potential and versatility” of his vinegars.
For more information, visit the brand’s Facebook page ‘Fateixa’ or email [email protected]
Original news story by Sara Alves for Jornal Barlavento
Photos: SARA ALVES/OPEN MEDIA GROUP