PRODUCER: Stratta, East Sussex
PRODUCT: Sweet Raspberry Vinegar
REGION: London and the South East
CATEGORY: From the Earth (Artisan)
WHAT THEY DO
Launched in 2004, Stratta is the culmination of Mary and John Stratton’s 25-year interest in creating innovative produce – flavoured vinegars, flower vinegars, fruit balsamics, infused olive oils and the like. Mary left her career in teaching to pursue her passion, and with demand growing after the products’ debut at farmers’ markets and fine food fairs, John joined the team full time in 2005.
Stratta’s range boasts exceptional provenance: the ingredients are gathered from their garden in East Sussex, from neighbours’ land, and from fellow growers in Sussex and Kent. Neglected heritage fruits such as medlars and quince, once the stars of British preserving, are often featured.
For the Sweet Raspberry Vinegar, 60g fruit is used per 100ml vinegar. First the raspberries are steeped in white wine vinegar to draw out flavour and colour before the liquid is filtered and enhanced with organic cane sugar. The infusion is then bottled at high temperature.
Mary and John’s expertise in creating concoctions of fruits, herbs and aromatics has seen them become members of the Guild of Fine Food and judges for the annual Great Taste Awards, where their products have won an impressive total of 24 Gold Awards since 2005.
The couple put the success of their Sweet Raspberry Vinegar down to “the quality of each carefully sourced ingredient, the sheer quantity of locally grown fruit going into the process and the passion and care with which we create it”.
WHAT THE JUDGES SAID
The judges were impressed by Mary and John’s enthusiasm and the sense of pride they conveyed in their entry. It was commented that the “simplicity of what they do appeals”, with another judge admiring the appearance of the vinegar which made them “really want to try it!”
VISIT THE WEBSITE: stratta.org