Any kind of food which contains natural sugars can be turned into vinegar. Yeast helps in fermenting the sugars into alcohol and a typical kind of bacteria converts the alcohol into vinegar. What remains after the second fermentation is the weak acetic acid in vinegar. This acid has the original flavors of the food used before fermentation, like apples and grapes. The tart taste which vinegar possesses comes from the presence of acetic acid. As mentioned earlier, vinegar can be prepared from various foods that help add their original tastes to the end product. In addition, vinegar ingredients also has herbs, spices, and fruits to enhance the flavors.
Different Types of Vinegar
For healthy and light cooking style, vinegar is a great option. The tangy flavor it provides helps you reduce your intake of salt in foods. While adding vinegar to your diet and dishes, you also cut down the extra fat in any recipe because you won't find the need to add cream, butter, or oil. There are many distinct flavors of vinegar, ranging from mild to bold, so try them one by one to see which tastes better with your style of cooking.
Malt vinegar looks dark-brown in color, popular in Britain, and is made by malting barley. The starch in the grain turns into maltose. Further on, the ale is brewed from the maltose and helps it alter into malt vinegar. This pre-mature vinegar is allowed to age which is light brown in color.
Ingredients in vinegar, particularly wine, is always made from red or white wine. Most popular in Mediterranean countries and Central Europe, wine vinegar comes in different range of quality. For more refined sort of wine vinegar needs to be matured in wood for about 2 years. This process also gives it a mellow flavor. It has low acidity levels than white or cider vinegar. There are other wine vinegar, more expensive than the regular ones found in the supermarkets.
- Pinto Grigio
Apple Cider Vinegar
Apple cider vinegar, also known as just cider vinegar, contents consists of cider or apple must. It has brown-yellowish color and is sometimes sold unfiltered/unpasteurized. Apple cider vinegar has a special substance called "mother of vinegar" in it which acts as a natural product. This "mother of vinegar" is a substance made of a kind of cellulose and acetic acid bacteria. They develop after fermenting alcoholic liquids that aids in turning alcohol (with oxygen found in the air) into acetic acid.
The different varieties of fruit vinegar are mainly produced in Europe because there's a huge demand for high-priced vinegar in the market. Only specific fruits are used as ingredients, as compared to other recipes. Once the vinegar is finished and gone through all the processes, the original fruits' flavors linger on.
- Black currant
Originated in Japan and clear or pale yellow in color, rice vinegar is very popular in Asian cuisines. Often incorporated in salads and stir-fry dishes, rice vinegar is made from the sugars that are already present in rice. It is aged and filtered till the final product is clean, delicate, and mild in taste. Other two varieties of rice vinegar is also available in red and black in color.
Balsamic vinegar was first crafted in the Modena and Reggio Emilia provinces of Italy. It is an aromatic and aged variety of vinegar made by concentrating juice of white grapes. It has a dark-brown color, with rich and sweet taste after years of aging in successive number of casks made from oak, chestnut, cherry, juniper, and other kinds of wood. The original balsamic vinegar is actually aged for 12―25 years. There are more expensive balsamic vinegar also available which are aged for about 100 years. The vinegar available in market for commercial purposes is made from concentrated white grape juice which is laced with caramel and sugar.
- Coconut Vinegar
- Palm Vinegar
- Cane Vinegar
- Raisin Vinegar
- Date Vinegar
- Honey Vinegar
- Kombucha Vinegar
- East Asian Black Vinegar
Now that you have an idea about the wide variety of vinegar available around the world, you too can use certain kinds of vinegar in your cooking. The different flavors found in vinegar will help make your dishes livelier, healthier, and more delicious.