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Yay for Vinegar! (Cooking)

Say what, vinegar?  Yes, this fermented flavouring (or in Latin vinum acetum meaning wine turned sour) is one of the oldest condiments in the world. It’s tasty and medicinally beneficial to say the least, popular in cooking, curing, and in cleaning. Today’s blog is the first in a three-part series on vinegar, where we start off listing with some famous vinegar used in preparing food. If you don’t know about them, give them a try.

Asian Vinegars: As the category suggests, they emerge out of Asia, made from fermented and distilled rice, and depending on the region made from millet or sorghum, peas, bran and barley. Generally they are less acidic than Western vinegar, they can be sweet and sour, mild or spicy, coming in a variety of colours such as pale yellow, red, brown and black.

Balsamic Vinegar: It’s made from Italy’s white Trebbiano grapes and aged up to 100-years or more in a variety of barrels made from different woods, which in turn infuse this type of vinegar with an aroma, flavour, and colour. Ideally, balsamic vinegar should be 6% acidic.

Champagne and Wine Vinegars: They vary in quality and colour depending on the type of grapes used. The best type of these vinegar is made slowly, over time, in oak barrels where they can mature naturally. The darker the wine vinegar the more aged it is, meaning red and sherry wine vinegar are aged longer than whites.

Malt Vinegar: It’s made from fermented barley and grain mash, flavoured form wooden barrels made of beech and birch. Best know in the British Isles, and other places, where fish ‘n chips are served.

White Vinegar: Referred to as a distilled spirit or virgin vinegar, used in cooking, baking, meat preservation, and pickling.

Coming from ‘vinegar,’ let me leave you with this super easy vinaigrette dressing to be drizzled over any fresh garden salad:

  • Whisk 2 tablespoons red wine vinegar;
  • 2 teaspoons Dijon mustard;
  • 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt, and pepper to taste;
  • Gradually whisk in 1/3 to 1/2 cup of extra virgin olive oil;
  • Done!


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