Pomegranate Aged Balsamic Vinegar from Skylake Ranch, Chico California

Pomegranates, photo credit ©Robert Anasch

A Queen of Fruits

Pomegranates have to be one of the queen of fruits, among many members of fruit royalty, such as Cherimoya, Pitaya, or Manogsteen. Packaged in a rubbery scarlet coating streaked with peach and pink and green – at the bottom –  a perfect crown. Inside hundreds of juicy ruby seeds nestled in a pale labyrinth of flesh. Frustratingly difficult to access those seeds, but so worth the effort. 


Sarah, Gail and Chris Brown, Skylake Ranch, Chico, California


When Gail Brown of Skylake Ranch, in Durham, California, was trying to decide what to plant on her 20 acres near her home she found help locally. She met a pomegranate farmer in Gridley, and he convinced her to plant pomegranate trees and he even helped her get the land prepared, and helped with cuttings. That was in 2004, and her first harvest was 2008. By then Gail’s son Chris was operations manager, and his new wife, Sarah, became the tastemaker and recipe creator. After talking with their neighbors from Iran and learning about how pomegranate is commonly used in their cooking as a meat tenderizer, they landed on their first product – their grill sauce and marinade. Soon they added more products, began selling at farmers markets, and now can be found in a few local specialty stores. 

With little farming experience they have managed to turn out a tempting array of products, such as pepper jelly, syrup and a variety of vinegars, all made with the juice from their pomegranates. They even make grenadine! Grenadine is the main ingredient in a Shirley Temple, which was considered a real treat when we were kids and went out to dinner. We felt very grown up drinking them.  


Chris Brown of Skylake Ranch, Chico California


The product that most captured our attention for our August Farm to Fork in a Box was their Pomegranate Aged Balsamic Vinegar. Aged balsamic vinegar is so versatile, and I love the twist of the Pomegranate. It’s tart and sweet and can be used in salad dressings, drizzled on fresh tomatoes and burrata, added to a cocktail, or even drizzled on ice cream. If you haven’t tried vanilla ice cream with a little balsamic vinegar on top, you must try it. Trust me. 

Not only is pomegranate tasty, it’s also considered a super food believed to be beneficial in reducing blood pressure, hydrating skin, preventing cancer, and encouraging hair growth among others. You can feel good about this product, and supporting this small family owned business all while getting health benefits from indulging in this special bottle of goodness. 


Ice cream drizzled with pomegranate balsamic vinegar

Vanilla ice cream topped with Upper Crust Bakery Almond Biscotti, The Good Stuff Chili Apricot Jam and drizzled with Skylake Ranch Pomegranate Aged Balsamic Vinegar.

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