Vinegar 101 by Toby Amidor in Healthy Tips, August 11, 2011
Vinegar made our list of top 10 healthy flavor boosters. With so many varieties available, choosing the right vinegar to compliment your dish can get confusing. These vinegar basics will get your taste buds on track.
The word vinegar originates from the French word vin aigre, which translates into “sour wine.” Vinegars are made by introducing bacteria into a fermented liquid like wine, beer or cider and converting it into acetic acid (that’s the sour flavor you taste in vinegar). As for nutrients, most varieties of vinegar contain about 3 calories and not much else.
Vinegar has been used for thousands of years as a cooking ingredient, condiment and preservative (like for pickles!). The acidity in vinegar makes it a great addition to marinades—the acidity helps break down the protein fiber and softens the meat. Vinegar can also be used to balance out the flavor of dishes and cut down bitterness.