A Rare Find: Our Lady of the Resurrection Monastery Vinegars
Vinegars in the monastery shop
If you’ve been searching for a gift for someone who takes great pride in being an epicure of one-of-a-kind items or a chef who considers themselves a connoisseur of rare flavors, we’ve found something that’ll really knock them off of their “foodie” feet.
In the town of LaGrangeville, NY, which sits about 20 minutes east of Poughkeepsie, lies Our Lady of the Resurrection Monastery, a place known for, of all things, its fine artisanal vinegars.
Co-founded 40 years ago by monks from the French Pyrenees, the Monastery is still home to one of them, Brother Victor-Antoine D’Avila Latourrette, whose organic vinegars are based on a monastic recipe from the Middle Ages.
Brother Victor has been crafting his vinegars for more than two decades with a starter, “the Mother,” taken from his native France. After slowly boiling local, homemade wine with fruits, herbs and a variety of spices, Brother Victor leaves his vinegars to stand for 24 hours before placing into large glass containers or “bocaoux.” They are placed in a dark cellar at room temperature and left to brew naturally at their own pace, usually between 8 to 12 months minimum.
Volunteers have been helping Brother Victor bottle 10 different vinegar varieties in preparation for the monastery’s annual Christmas Vinegar Festival, held this year on Saturday, Dec. 8 and Sunday, Dec. 9. On these days, the monastery’s gift shop, Atelier Saint Joseph, will offer red wine, white wine and rose wine vinegars, plus flavored vinegars in apricot, raspberry, cider, cider honey, and a rare sherry vinegar which is available in a limited quantity. At around $9 for a 10oz. bottle, these organic, artisanal vinegars are a unique and affordable gift that you can only find by visiting the source (no online shopping available here).
The gift shop also will offer Brother Victor’s nine internationally acclaimed cookbooks, which he will autograph for you. His first cookbook, From a Monastery Kitchen, focuses on simple seasonal meals served to the Benedictine order. His Twelve Months of Monastery Soups has sold over 2 million copies and has been translated into five languages.
Other items available at the festival include tonics for cooking, creches with small figurines or “santons” that have been gathered from all over the world, Christmas ornaments, Brother Victor’s watercolor paintings, and, new this year, handmade soaps and perfumes from the Chantelle monastery in France. According to Brother Victor and volunteer Suzanne Collins, a friend of the LaGrangeville monastery drove to central France while on a recent vacation to pick them up, along with dried herbs from the South of France for cooking, and all will be available in the gift shop.
Whether you’ve got a long shopping list or not, Brother Victor and the Atelier volunteers invite you to stop by to see them, view the monastery, and sample the vinegars so you can taste the difference for yourself.
The 18th Annual Christmas Vinegar Festival
Our Lady of the Resurrection Monastery
Saturday, Dec. 8 & Sunday, Dec. 9, 10 a.m. – 5 p.m.
246 Barmore Rd., LaGrangeville, NY
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