Apple Cider vinegar as well as many other types of vinegar are widely used for their culinary and medicinal benefits.
When made with care, most vinegars contain a host of healthful antioxidant compounds and nutrients derived from the fruit, grain, or sugar from which they are produced.
Each vinegar type has its own taste characteristics which go well with certain kinds of food found in various regions.
Herbs, spices and fruits can be infused in the milder types of vinegar to produce herbal or flavored vinegars with greatly enhanced tastes which you can tailor make or purchase for your cooking needs.
Apple Cider Vinegar (liquid)
An apple cider vinegar (ACV), which is unfiltered and not pasteurized and made from whole organically grown apples, is the best type to use for
both health and cooking purposes.
I use a certified organic apple cider vinegar (which contains the “mother”) made by Bragg and one made by Omega Nutrition. Both are delicious and I can highly recommend them.
The Bragg and Omega Nutrition 32 ounce (946mL) bottles of organic apple cider vinegar are shown below and can be purchased online from Amazon.com:
Many other commercial apple cider vinegars have been pasteurized, filtered, refined or distilled in order to make the product look good, and thereby more appealing to the general public. Unfortunately this extra processing destroys much of the healthy goodness and thus many of the apple cider vinegar benefits that were in the product in the first place.
Once opened, an apple cider vinegar with at least 5% acidity does not need to be refrigerated and has a minimum shelf life of 5 years. Best to store the vinegar with the cap tightly closed and not in direct sunlight.
Apple cider vinegar goes well on vegetable salads, seafood and poultry and is an excellent base for making infused vinegars with various herbs, spices or fruits.
Apple Cider Vinegar (pills, tablets, or capsules)
Converting liquid vinegar into a pill or tablet requires much extra processing which depletes many of the nutrients present in the original apple cider vinegar liquid.
To this end, 8 apple cider vinegar tablet products were recently analyzed by a team of scientists from the Department of Human Environmental Science (Human Nutrition) at the University of Arkansas and they found many labeling inconsistencies and inaccuracies which made them question the quality of these ACV tablets.
True balsamic vinegar, labeled aceto balsamico traditizionale, has been produced for a thousand years in the Emilia-Romagna region of northern Italy. This includes an area starting from the Adriatic Sea and reaching almost to the Gulf of Genoa. This type of vinegar is made from the reduced juice of sweet white grapes such as the Trebbiano and Lambrusco varieties and is aged for 12 or more years in a progression of aromatic wooden casks.
A much more readily available quick-processed industrialized version of balsamic vinegar is produced in Modena but even this, by Italian law, has to be aged for at least 3 years to be labeled aceto balsamico. It usually has a 6% acid content.
These types of vinegar are made from fermented sugar cane extract and are used mostly in Philippine cooking.
Coconut vinegar is made from the sap of the coconut tree that is naturally fermented in about two months and then aged for about 8 months.
Coconut vinegar is often made with a low 4% acetic acid content and has a mild, yet unique, musty flavor and distinct aftertaste. This type of vinegar is widely used with Thai, Philippine, Indian and other Southeast Asian cooking.
Like apple cider vinegar, coconut vinegar can also be purchased in a raw, unpasteurized, and unfiltered form for maximum nutrition and health benefits.
The English have been using malt vinegar for hundreds of years. It's especially popular sprinkled on chips in a traditional fish and chips restaurant.
Red Wine Vinegar
Red wine vinegar, like apple cider vinegar, has been used for centuries for both medicinal and culinary purposes.
Rice vinegar has been made in China and Japan for thousand of years. It is made from rice wine, or sake and comes in three varieties, white, red and black.
On the southern Japanese island of Kyushu, the black variety is produced from thick sake made only from brown rice using a lengthy natural outdoor process. This vinegar has a mild sweet flavor and is highly regarded for it's medicinal properties.
Generally, these types of vinegar have a 4 to 5% acid content and are used in salad dressings, and as a condiment for soups, stews and noodle dishes. This type of vinegar is also added to sushi rice, not only for adding flavor but also for killing dangerous bacteria that could be present on raw fish.
It's mild flavor makes it excellent for flavoring with herbs, spices and fruit.
Made from sherry wine in Andalusia, southwestern Spain, sherry vinegar is smooth and mellow with a slight toasted almonds flavor and a balanced sweet and sour taste. This vinegar is aged in oak casks and often produced by the Solera system over a lengthy period of time. The Duque de Diano label of aged sherry vinegar made in Jerez de la Frontera is one of the best examples.
White Wine Vinegar
White wine vinegars can vary in color from white to pale gold and acid content from 5 to 7%. These types of vinegar are light flavored and like apple cider vinegar they go well on vegetable salads, seafood and poultry and they are a good base for making infused vinegars with various herbs, spices or fruits.
White Vinegar (White Distilled Vinegar)
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