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Review by Debbie Mazo
Vinegar was discovered by chance more than 10,000 years ago when a cask of wine beyond its time transformed into a unique solution. Over the centuries, vinegar has been used to jazz up everything from beets to melons, but it still remains a result of fermentation of natural sugars to alcohol and then secondary fermentation to vinegar. Click on What is Vinegar, and find out even more about these two distinct biochemical processes, both the result of the action of microorganisms.
In the last decade, specialty vinegars have become a fixture in many gourmet markets. Wine or white distilled vinegars are sometimes flavored with herbs, spices, or other seasonings to create herbal vinegars for addition to dressings. Balsam vinegar, made from white Trebbiano grapes found in the Modena region of Italy, is aged for years in a variety of wood barrels. Try some of the site's recipes that feature specialty vinegars like Bruschetta, a crusty loaf grilled with tomatoes and drizzled with balsamic vinegar. Or, prepare your own seasoned creation like Parley, Sage, Rosemary, and Thyme Vinegar, then sprinkle over salad greens or grilled vegetables.
There's even more good news about vinegar. Keep vinegar as a staple in your pantry, and you'll find dozens of economical ways to use it. Need to remove the odor of onions from your hands? Then, rub a little white vinegar on your fingers before and after slicing onions. If you want to eliminate unpleasant cooking odors, boil a teaspoon of white vinegar mixed in a cup of water. Whether you want to add pizzazz to your recipes or put a shine on your kitchen counter, Versatile Vinegar leads the way.
Debbie Mazo is a writer and editor based in Vancouver, Canada. She's been writing the NetFood Digest column for FoodWine since 1997. You can contact her at djmbc@[email-address-removed].
Copyright © 2001, Debbie Mazo. All rights reserved.
This page created September 2001