Vinegars are one of the most important ingredients in the kitchen. It adds to the taste and palatability of the food. Without vinegar, we will not be able to create delicious dishes. Aside from the food, vinegar is found to be very useful as a cleaning agent as well as popular for its healing prowess.
Vinegar is usually made from different products such as wine, apple, beer, white grapes, coconut, and rice. There are many other plant derivatives that vinegar can come from. Vinegar is made from the fermentation of these food derivatives wherein oxygenation of ethanol happens, thus creating this acidic mixture. Acetic acid is added to the fermented mixture of either of the plant derivatives to make vinegar. The acetic acid gives the mixture a pH of 2 to 3.5.
Fermentation often takes a very short time with the use of a special machine to help the process. The machine would promote oxygenation. However, natural fermentation process without the help of a machine would normally take months to occur. Aside from that, “mother of vinegar” would start to thrive in the mixture. These are nontoxic slime that does not affect the taste of the vinegar. These are often ingested by the locals. Vinegar eels are also very common in naturally fermented vinegars since they go where the “mother of vinegars” goes. These are also safe to ingest and are non-parasitic nematodes, however, companies often filter them out before packing the vinegar in bottles.
There are a wide variety of vinegars depending on what they are made of and what are the processes the vinegar undergoes. Vinegar has been very useful and is also used to increase the shelf life of a food together with salt. It is the perfect mix for salads and a very important ingredient for marinating meat. Sauces and condiments need the twist of vinegar too. No matter where we go, vinegar is an all-around seasoning and ingredient.