Five Minnesota food crafters took home top honors at the 2018 Good Food Awards, including one here in Rochester.
Amy and Linda Lorber, the mother-daughter duo, of Gardenaire brought home two awards from San Francisco in the elixirs category, one for their Tomato-Basil shrub and another for their Rhubarb-Basil shrub.
When you hear the word "shrub", typically the leafy plant in your back yard comes to mind.
As it turns out, a shrub is also a colonial era method of preservation.
"Before we had refrigerators they needed a way to keep fruit," said Amy Lorber, Co-Owner of Gardenaire. "So they found that by fermenting it with apple cider vinegar, it would become shelf-stable."
Shurbs are a drinking vinegar with the health benefits of apple cider vinegar, but with a better flavor palate of course.
"Pre and probiotics are really great for digestion and it's great for your immune system," said Lorber.
Should you want to include shrubs into your daily life, it may be easier than you think.
"A lot of people will just add them to a bottle of water and drink that like you would a Gatorade after you work out," said Lorber. "You can use them with olive oil and mix them for vinaigrette, for salads. You can use them to marinate and they're great in a cocktail."
A majority of the ingredients used in Gardenaire's products are grown right in the Lorber's backyard garden!
"We grow lots of organic herbs and produce and then we dry the herbs and we make loose leaf teas and spice blends," said Lorber. "Then we use the fruits for infused syrups and the shrubs."