Use of different vinegar in kitchen

Different Types of Vinegar and Their Uses in the Kitchen

Emily Clark
By Emily Clark
contributor

May 28, 2021


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  • A bit of tartness can enhance many sweet or savory dishes. Do you agree? In that case, it is safe to assume that you admire sourness in your food and drinks. If you are a cook, you must be fond of adding vinegar to your preparations quite often. After all, it can lend unique flavor, color, and texture to any meal. To be precise, you can use vinegar in a pickle, salad dressing, and many other places. But before you pick something for your dish, you need to know what type of vinegar you need and where. Here is brief information on this to make your cooking more fun.

    Plain White Vinegar 

    It may not sound so exciting for your culinary choices. But, then, not many recipes talk about it too. You may also mainly rely on it to clean your sink. But you can leverage its acidic flavor in pickles, shrubs that you add to cocktails, and homemade salt and vinegar chips. 

    Wine Vinegar 

    You get four varieties in this- red, sherry, white, and champagne. All of them have distinct flavors because of the ingredients used in their preparation. For example, red wine vinegar can taste tart and fruity. However, it has a punch in its flavor, due to which its use in warm lentil salads and braised meats can be worth trying. While some people limit its use to red meats, you can deglaze a chicken pan too with it. You can also include it in the mixture of cured meat and shredded lettuce stuffing for an Italian sub.

    If you want to give your dish a crisp and light flavor, you can work with white wine vinegar. It combines well with seafood. From pickled shallot to salads, a splash of white wine vinegar can do wonders.

    The sherry variety may not be widespread as it is a Spanish thing. However, it offers an intricate and rounded flavor than any other kind of vinegar. It can have a deep and bright appearance, but it is not acerbic. Usually, it has a shelf life of six months. Still, you can use it beyond that. It grows sweeter and heavy with age, becoming a perfect finishing touch for pork, chicken, asparagus, and other vegetables. A few drops can make a massive difference to a dish. You can replace apple cider vinegar with this. 

    Champagne vinegar

    If you believe this vinegar comes from France because of the name, you must know that not all kinds of champagne vinegar available in US grocery stores are genuine. If you search for authentic choice, read the label for the town that produces it. However, it doesn’t mean other types of champagne vinegar are not worth your consideration. For example, you can get the one coming from California for good quality. It can be a little expensive, though. Anyway, it blends well with marinades prepared for seafood, pork, or chicken. You can also add it to the mignonette for oysters. Its bright and floral taste is so cheerful that it can elevate any dish.

    Apple Cider Vinegar

    A few things become must-haves in the kitchen. For example, you can think of water-saving faucets by Kraus USA. Since you use too much water in the kitchen, the chances of wastage can also be high. But leak-proof faucets with aerators can check this efficiently. Similarly, apple cider vinegar can be a dish enhancer. But it arguably offers multiple health benefits too. So, if not for anything else, you can keep it in your kitchen to drink a shot of it in the morning to improve your health. 

    Besides, it helps giving anything a pickle-like taste. You can add it to onions, apples, etc. If you are in the mood to eat a ham sandwich, consider adding pickled onions. You will know what it can do to give you a rich flavor. Some people like to take advantage of its fruity taste with pork and cabbage preparations too.

    Balsamic Vinegar

    Again, you get authentic and grocery store options. The cheaper versions usually contain red wine vinegar mixed with extra sugar and food colors. It may not be bad, but you can find it too rich or sweet. Someone who doesn’t mind digging their teeth into a late-’90s type of salad dressing can like its addition. But if you wish to enjoy it truly, try a few drops of this vinegar on potato chips and small pieces of blue cheese.  However, make sure you remove acetic acid a bit. 

    You get gentle, velvety, and dense balsamic quality also. It can look like a liqueur and taste slightly caramelized with hints of dried fruit. However, don’t limit its use to salad dressing. It can be a fantastic company for your ice cream, strawberries, and in-season tomatoes. In the mid-range also, you get excellent balsamic vinegar. Do you wonder how to recognize it? It would be thick, sweet, and contain the flavor of dried fruits. When you use any unique veggies in the salad dressing, apply this vinegar once.

    Rice Vinegar

    Although common in Asian foods, this vinegar can be lighter than white vinegar in terms of acidity. Companies make it from red, brown, white, and black rice. The other ingredients that can combine with it include sugar, salt, and MSG for seasoning. From sushi rice to pickles to salad dressing, you can prepare just about anything with it. However, rice vinegar can vastly differ based on the type of rice used in them. 

    It may not be possible to keep all the types of vinegar in your kitchen. But you can select a few of them to give your meals a desirable twist. Some vinegar varieties can help clean the sink and faucet also. But you cannot apply them directly on the surface. Anyway, the main point is having a range of different flavors of vinegar can feel blissful. You can always have an excuse to add them to your favorite dish.

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