Any 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.
Different Types of Vinegar
For a healthy and light cooking style, vinegar is a great option. It's tangy flavor helps you reduce your salt intake. By adding vinegar to your diet, you cut down the extra fat in any recipe as you won't need to add cream, butter or oil. It comes in distinct flavours, ranging from mild to bold, try them 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.
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.
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.
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.
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.