Annona Gourmet's balsamic vinegars: 100 Favorite Dishes, No. 47

Annona Gourmet has a whole wall lined with delicious flavored vinegars

Annona Gourmet has a whole wall lined with delicious flavored vinegars

Tucked away in a sleepy corner of Northeast Minneapolis, in the Saint Anthony Village strip mall, lies a hidden gem. Annona Gourmet, a small shop whose motto is "educate your appetite," invites guests to do just that each time they enter its doors. Owner Jean Rarick can always be found behind the counter, ready to walk you through the rows of olive oils and vinegars, offering samples of this and nibbles of that, while inducting you into the wonderful world of imported, single-source delicacies from Modena, Italy.


Fifteen vinegars line a wall of the shop in gleaming stainless steel containers known as fustis. The base for all of the vinegars is a 12-year aged balsamic from Modena, Italy, and the available flavors range from Black Cherry to Dark Chocolate and Honey Ginger. The flavors are rich, intense, intricate, and lovely. Guests are welcome to sample as many flavors as they like (sipped from miniature cups, please--no bread baskets here), and any purchases are poured directly from the fusti into dark colored glass bottles that will preserve their structure and integrity.

Each vinegar is labeled with a detailed description of its flavor, as well as ideas for its possible culinary uses.

The vinegars are especially delightful when used to create dressings and vinaigrettes, such as this recipe for pomegranate vinaigrette, borrowed from Annona's website:

1/2c Pomegranate Vinegar

1T Lemon Juice, fresh squeezed

1T Sugar

1/4t Salt

1/2c Olive Oil (mild flavored such as Ascalano or Picudo)

In a work bowl, whisk together vinegar, lemon juice, sugar, and salt until well combined. Next, while whisking, add oil in a slow continuous drizzle until emulsified. Adjust seasonings to taste.

Hungry for more? The dishes in our countdown thus far are linked below:
No. 48: Cocina del Barrio's jalapeno poppers No. 49: Papa's Philly Cheesesteak No. 50: Swede Hollow Cafe's caramel roll No. 51: Thomasina's cashew brittle No. 52: Patisserie 46's Rory Cake

No. 53: Il Gatto's Ravanelli 
No. 54: Mandarin Kitchen's Seafood and Tofu Hot Pot
No. 55: Polish Delight Cocktail at the Inn
No. 56: Gopher Bar's Coney Island Dog
No. 57: Holy Land's hummus tahini
No. 58: The Sample Room's wild mushroom ragout on polenta
No. 59: On's Thai Kitchen Nam Thok
No. 60: Flamingo Restaurant's vegetarian combo
No. 61: Sea Change's Brioche Pain Perdu
No. 62: Haute Dish's "Steak & Eggs"
No. 63: Tremblay's Sweet Shop salt water taffy
No. 64: Bars Bakery's Turtle Bar
No. 65: Pizzeria Lola's Lady ZaZa Pizza
No. 66: In Season's fried oysters
No. 67: Cave Vin's steak frites
No. 68: Everest on Grand's cabbage and potatoes
No. 70: Surly Coffee Bender
No. 71: Quang's bun tom xao
No. 72: YoYo Donuts' maple bacon doughnut
No. 73: Cupcake's mini cupcakes
No. 74: Willy D's ribs
No. 75: Salsa a la Salsa's Fried Chocolate Truffles
No. 76: Anodyne's Artichoke Melt
No. 77: Origami's steamed duck
No. 78: B.T. McElrath's Salty Dog bar
No. 79: Mozza Mia's house-made limoncello
No. 80: Salty Tart Bakery's pastry cream-filled brioche
No. 81: Little Szechuan's bamboo tips with chili sauce
No. 82: Oceanaire's Jumbo Lump Crab Cake
No. 83: Aperitif's Nonni's Meatballs
No. 84: Christos's Saganaki
No. 85: Seven Stars' Sesame Bagel
No. 86: Hell's Kitchen Lemon Ricotta Hotcakes
No. 87: Blackbird banh mi
No. 88: Tank Goodness chocolate chip cookies
No. 89: Sole Cafe's gal bee
No. 90: Porter & Frye's El Pelon
No. 91: Coffee News' fish and chips
No. 92: Bread & Chocolate's Fabulous Fudge Bar
No. 93: People's Organic Panna Cotta
No. 94: Sea Salt Eatery Crawdad Po' Boy
No. 95: Fuji Ya's Tofu Don
No. 96: Ike's Food and Cocktails The Weekender Bloody Mary
No. 97: Punch's Toto pizza
No. 98: Stockholm Pie Company's peanut butter fudge cream pie
No. 99: Dogwood Coffee Co.'s macchiato
No. 100: Al's Breakfast buttermilk pancakes

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