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My kitchen and pantry "staples" tend to be fairly limited, so when I find a product that takes the place of half a dozen others without compromising on any of the taste, you can bet that I'll gladly add it to my stock. Passion Fruit Balsamic Vinegar, a great product by Mediterraneo Imports and another great find from the 2008 Gourmet Housewares show in Las Vegas, does just that. It's a refreshingly different vinegar, loaded with bright fruity flavor. I tried it on bread squares, fruit wedges, and on a tiny plastic spoon, and my only thought was "this makes everything taste better."

Drizzle it over salmon before baking to add a Caribbean flair, mix with olive oil for a zesty two-ingredient salad dressing, or toss it with a fresh fruit salad. I guarantee you that your dinner guests will leave wondering what mixture of herbs and spices you used to create such a fragrant and tasty topper, so go ahead and decide whether you'll share the secret or keep it to yourself. The aged pear variety is also wonderful, so consider trying a few, or sending the bottles as gourmet gifts.