Stock your pantry using our vinegar roundup
may make your lips pucker, but vinegar has had a place in the
kitchen for thousands of years as a way to preserve food, a cooking
ingredient, a condiment, even a cleaning agent. It's a great way
to jazz up foods without adding fat or sodium.
vinegars are popular in different cultures. White vinegar is used
to make pickles in the Deep South, balsamic vinegar is a key ingredient
in Italian cooking, rice vinegar sweetens Japanese salads and
English fish and chips are always teamed with malt vinegar.
vinegar is straight out of chemistry class. It's created by
fermenting wine or another alcoholic liquid. The next step
is for bacteria to attack the alcohol converting it into acetic
acid. Vinegar is born.
A Sour is Born
If you want
vinegar to pack a punch, don't add it until you take your dish
off the heat. If you want a less pungent flavor, add vinegar while
cooking and let some of it boil off.
vinegars in a cool, dark place. Make sure they're tightly capped.
They should be clear. If they look murky or cloudy it's time to
restock. Most store-bought vinegars are pasteurized and keep for
up to six months.
and straightforward to make flavored vinegar. Simply mix fruit,
herbs or garlic with red or white vinegar. Make sure the ingredients
are thoroughly clean and dry before you get started. Let the concoction
sit anywhere from hours to days so the flavors blend. Strain and
use. Store any extra in the fridge. Try our recipe for Basic
should have at least four vinegars in their pantry
rice vinegar, a good balsamic vinegar, a good
wine vinegar and a sherry vinegar," says John
Ash, columnist, cookbook author and Fetzer Vineyards'
spokesman (see Chefs@home.)
"If you've been jilted and you're depressed just
quickly wilt some spinach and a little bit of sherry
vinegar and some salt and pepper, it's so great."
vinegar Made from white Trebbiano grapes from
the Modena region of Italy and aged for years in a
variety of wood barrels. The longer the vinegar ages,
the better the taste and the dearer the cost. It has
syrupy, full, sweet flavor. The color comes from the
vinegar Made from apples. It has a tart flavor.
vinegar Made from grains like corn, rye and barley.
It has a harsh flavor.
vinegar Made from malted barley. It has a slightly
sweet, mild flavor.
vinegar Brewed from rice wine. It has a sweet,
vinegar Made from fermented red and white wines,
sherry or champagne. Clean and dry, the flavor depends
on the grape variety.