October 15, 2017

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Your Ultimate Guide to Vinegar

Salad with Vinegar Based Dressing

Photo by: Karolina Grabowska

Vinegar is an absolute staple in every home. It can be used for cleaning without causing damage to your home, and of course, it can be used to cook a variety of things. While white vinegar is the best for cleaning, when it comes to crafting cuisine in your kitchen, you might be wondering what the difference is between all the vinegars out there.

This handy guide should help you when selecting new vinegars to try out. Vinegar is a delicious way to add a bit of tang to your dishes without needing much salt. Here are some of the most commonly used vinegars and what they can do for your cooking.

Pork with Apple Cider Vinegar Glaze

Apple Cider Vinegar

Another one you might have in your pantry is apple cider vinegar. It gives your food a tart taste with a slight hint of fruit. It works best for your salad dressings or for concocting marinades and homemade condiments. Try adding it to sauces with pork!

Fresh Oysters with Mignonette

"Kumiai oysters, pirul mignonette, olive oil" by T.Tseng

Wine Vinegars

There are a vast variety of wine vinegars out there, typically a blend of red or even white wine. It’s most prevalent in Europe though, so if you’re looking to add a touch of European class to your cooking, try out wine vinegar. The ones made with higher quality wines and aged for several years are the best kinds to get. Sherry wine and champagne vinegar are also nice specialty choices, though they tend to be more expensive. What can you use wine vinegar for? It will elevate the sweetness of fruits like berries or melon, and if you want people to beg you for your salsa recipe, add a little wine vinegar to it. Adding Champagne Vinegar to a mignonette for oysters is a classic delight!

 Balsamic Vinegar Reduction with Caprese Salad

Balsamic Vinegar

Not all balsamic vinegar is created equal. Traditional balsamic is like a fine wine, created in a complex way. It’s made with trebbiano grapes grown near Modena in Italy and is aged for a long time, generally around 6 years right on up to 25. It’s not easy to get so you’re most likely to find commercial balsamic wherever you go. Some of it is produced in Modena too but it isn’t labeled with the Consortium of Producers of the Traditional Balsamic Vinegar of Modena seal like the traditional variety. Traditional or commercial, balsamic vinegar has an intricate flavor that complements salty items like goat cheese, adds harmony to spinach, and a bold contrast to strawberries, likely why you’ll find those 3 ingredients served in salads with a balsamic vinegar-based dressing.

 Authentic Sushi

Rice Vinegar

If you like to try out Asian cooking, you’ll want to keep rice vinegar around. This clear vinegar comes from Japan and is imperative to mixing with your rice if you want to have the proper flavor for your sushi. It’s clean and mild and works quite well on salads and stir-fry. Additionally, you can look out for red and black rice vinegars too which will lend a different sensation to your culinary creations.


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