Bhat et al.
Vinegar is the world’s oldest cooking ingredient and food preservation
method. Vinegar’s use can be traced back over 10,000 years. In fact,
flavouredȱ vinegarsȱ haveȱ beenȱ manufacturedȱ andȱ soldȱ forȱ almostȱ 5,000ȱ
years. The wide variety of vinegars available today is nothing new. Until
the six century BC, the Babylonians were making and selling vinegars
the Old Testament and Hippocrates recorded the use of vinegar for
medicinal purposes (Kehrer 1921; Conner 1976).
as a medicine, a corrosive agent, and as a preservative. In the middle
Ages, Alchemists poured vinegar onto lead in order to create lead acetate,
called “sugar of lead”, it was added to sour cider until it became clear that
ingesting the sweetened cider proved deadly. Production of vinegar was
of Parliament established a tax on so called vinegar-beer. In the early days
of the United States, the production of cider vinegar was a cornerstone of
farm and domestic economy, bringing three times the price of traditional
hard cider.
Types of Vinegar
The predominant type of vinegar in United States is white or distilled
vinegar. Vinegar is usually described in terms of grain strength, the grain
being ten times the acid percentage. For example 10% acid is referred to as
100 grain (Cruess 1958).
According to the Crisco Company, vinegar varieties vary greatly
from country to country. Some of the most popular vinegars and their
characteristics are shown below:
ˆ Balsamic vinegar isȱbrownȱinȱcolourȱwithȱaȱsweet-sourȱflavour.ȱ
It is made from the white Trebbiano grape and aged in barrels
of various woods. Some gourmet Balsamic vinegars are over 100
years old.
ˆ Cane vinegar is made from fermented sugarcane and has a very
ˆ Champagne vinegar has no bubbles. It’s made from a still, dry
white wine made from Chardonnay or Pinot Noir grapes (both of
which are used to make Champagne).