The Ultimate Vinegar Extravaganza – The Medicinal & Culinary Miracles Of Vinegar, How To Make Vinegar, Vinegar On Ice Cream (!) & Much More With TJ Robinson.

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My guest on this podcast, TJ Robinson, aka “The Olive Oil Hunter®” is well-known as one of the world's most respected authorities on all things olive oil.

Widely acclaimed for his “platinum palate,” TJ is one of the few Americans invited to serve as a judge in prestigious Italian olive oil tasting competitions.

As the founder of The Fresh-Pressed Olive Oil Club, TJ is dedicated to importing rare fresh-pressed olive oil, the most flavorful and most healthful extra virgin olive oil on the planet, until now virtually impossible to obtain year-round in the US. All his oils are independently lab-tested and certified for 100% purity.

Regarding olive oil, TJ contributed to the article “Answers To Your Top 8 Burning Questions About Olive Oil Revealed (& How To Avoid The Most Common, Dangerous Olive Oil Mistakes)” and also joined me for the epic olive oil podcast “What Olive Oil Should Taste Like, The Scary Truth About Olive Oil, Can You Cook With Extra Virgin Olive Oil & Much More!“.

But what you probably don't know about TJ is that he has a plethora of knowledge about vinegar and spices too, and he recently introduced me and my family's palate to a whole new world of flavor-enhancing vinegar tactics that I never knew existed, straight from his new culinary collection of artisanal vinegar. At, the vinegar is $98.00 for a 4-bottle set with shipping included – no club membership is required for the vinegar. You also have the chance to join TJ's olive oil club to go along with your vinegar and receive a $1 offer for Olive Oil.

After hearing more about TJ, his process, and the benefits of vinegar, I have a feeling you're going to adopt a “fresh” outlook on what should be a healthy pantry staple. Enjoy!

During our discussion, you'll discover:

-Introduction to vinegar…08:10

 –How TJ Robinson got interested in vinegar…23:12

  • Olive oil goes hand-in-hand with vinegar
  • Ben adds honey and salt to the olive oil-vinegar mix
  • TJ travels a lot, exploring cuisines and cultures
  • Work as the Olive Oil Hunter has been going on for a few decades now, taking him to amazing regions where not only grapes are grown but also olives
  • A lot of exciting things going on with vinegar at the moment
  • Pear balsamic vinegar from Austria
  • Avoid bad or fake vinegar on the market; aim for natural flavors
  • Read labels – some producers take shortcuts and actually soak wood chips in vinegar instead of actually aging them in real wooden barrels
  • Growing up with apple cider or white distilled vinegar
  • Later exposed to artisan, barrel-aged vinegar

 –How to find a good vinegar producer…28:06

  • Making a beautiful barrel-aged vinegar is like creating a very fine wine
  • Local olive oil producers recommend good vinegar producers
  • Talking to local chefs
  • Food pairs perfectly with travel
  • Tracking Global Award winners in the vinegar category
  • Recommendations for purchasing a good vinegar
    • Fully read the label
    • Stay away from artificial colors or extracts
    • Look for the country or region of origin (similar to wine)
    • Barrel-aged
    • Single estate vs. mass company
    • Balsamic vinegar from Modena, Italy

 –How many kinds of vinegar are there?…40:06

  • Anything that can be fermented and you can get alcohol from can be made into vinegar
  • The mother of each vinegar is very important for the flavor
  • The process of production – balancing sugar and acid
    • From tart to sweet
  • TJ’s road trip through Europe
    • Curated a 4-bottle set 
    • Not a club, it's a one-time-a-year collection
  • At the Fresh-Pressed Olive Oil Club, you get a 20-page printout
    • Science behind the vinegar
    • Stories about the farms
    • Recipes

-Opening a tasting box – Banyuls vinegar…47:50

  • French, Vinaigre de Banyuls is the most acidic at 6%
  • Red wine vinegar
  • Found 15 years ago at a farmer’s market
  • Ideal for French-style salads with fatty items that needs a very acidic vinegar
  • Smell – earthiness and sweetness
  • Aged in a French oak barrel for 3 years under the sun, 3 more indoors
  • Good as pickling vinegar

 –Pear balsamic vinegar…57:27

-Condimento al Aceto Balsamico di Modena…1:08:07

  • Condimento al Aceto Balsamico di Modena
  • Italian balsamic vinegar from Modena
  • Different categories
    • DOP – very expensive – aging from 12 to 24 years
    • IGP
    • Condimento – similar to DOP but not aging so long
  • Smells sweet, like dried cherries, chocolate, oak
  • As sweetener in vinaigrette
  • Ideal for wild boar or venison

-Calamansi vinegar…1:22:00

  • Calamansi gourmet vinegar
  • Outside of TJ's normal range
  • Calamansi is a Philippine fruit
  • Cocktail-style vinegar
  • Made in Germany
  • Smells like yuzu, mandarin, orange, lemon, lime, fresh ginger, lemongrass
  • Taste hints of sour orange, limes, yuzu, florals like jasmine with herbal notes like chamomile and lavender, orange blossom, honey, kumquat, and tangerine on the palate
  • Great in salsa, guacamole, fish
  • Seatopia
  • Get 4 bottles at Greenfield for $98

-And much more…

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Click here for the full written transcript of this podcast episode.

Resources from this episode:

– TJ Robinson:

– Podcast:

– Other Resources:

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Do you have questions, thoughts or feedback for TJ or me? Leave your comments below and one of us will reply!

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2 thoughts on “The Ultimate Vinegar Extravaganza – The Medicinal & Culinary Miracles Of Vinegar, How To Make Vinegar, Vinegar On Ice Cream (!) & Much More With TJ Robinson.

  1. Timo says:

    Neat! I gotta search out the vinegars mentioned. Since the last olive oil podcast, I’ve been using good olive oils and in a sense it is good that here in Australia we are spoiled for choice, at least for olive oils.

    A few podcasts ago the benefits of pomegranates was brought up. There’s a brand called Mazzetti that makes a product called “Organic Apple Cider Vinegar with Prebiotics and Pomegranate” (EU certified organic)

    Ingredients are: Organic apple cider vinegar, organic pomegranate juice 20%, organic inulin (prebiotic) 5%, organic lemon juice.

    They also have another version of ACV with honey and ginger. I’ve only found them occasionally in supermarkets here in Australia, especially the pomegranate one. They taste great when taken as shots before meals (vs plain ACV) and also work well in mixed drinks and stuff. I don’t know how much their commercial distribution affects the actual quality, but at least on paper the stats look decent.

  2. Johannes says:


    can you share the contacts of the european brands.
    As an European i would like to get into contact.


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