Down East 2013 ©
When chef Sam Hayward goes on and on about your product, you know you have something. Hayward, of course, is the talent behind Fore Street, one of the finest, if not the finest, restaurants in Portland and the guy Food & Wine magazine calls Maine’s “Food Hero.” The guy has taste. And he gave a ringing endorsement of Sewall Orchard’s aged cider vinegar at Maine Fare, a celebration of local food, in September. The Lincolnville farm (259 Masalin Rd., 207-763- 3956, www.sewallsorchard.com ) has been a champion of organic harvests for ages, and its vinegar is made the way its more famous cider is made. Which is to say with fresh apples and no preservatives, chemicals, sweeteners, or artificial anythings — just the purest distillation of cider vinegar. That’s what makes it so good for salads, stews, what have you. You can find it by the gallon, half-gallon, and smaller sizes at such outlets as the Good Tern Co-op and Sage Market in Rockland, and Megunticook Market in Camden — and you can be sure it’ll be good.