Contrast is an important thing, both in food and in life. How can one appreciate the happy without the sad, the highs without the lows, the sweet without the sour? This is all to say I like to put vinegar on my fruit, and I urge you to do the same.
Now, a lot of fruit is very good on its own, and doesn’t need any help to be delicious. But I’m not talking about changing the fruit’s flavour. I’m talking about highlighting it. A small amount of vinegar can brighten, yes, but it can also amplify the sweetness of a naturally sweet thing by providing that contrast I was talking about earlier.
If you’re having a hard time tasting this with your mind’s tongue, think of the ubiquitous feta and watermelon salad, which is so often drizzled with balsamic. That salad is good because it hits all the flavour hits — sweet, salty, funky, and acidic. On a smaller scale, just splash of vinegar — I’m talking one teaspoon per cup of fruit — adds that contrasting hint of tang without overpowering the flavour profile of the fruit.
Balsamic is a natural choice for watermelon and most berries, but champagne vinegar is beautiful with stone fruits. Apple cider vinegar can also work in a lot of cases, but start with half a teaspoon, as the funk it brings can be overpowering, depending on the brand.
You can eat your vinegar-spiked treat immediately, but if you let everyone hang out a while, some of the fruit’s juices will mix with the vinegar, creating a tangy, sweet syrup that’s delicious on cake, swirled into ice cream, or muddled into a cocktail.