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Varieties of Vinegar


rgruby
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I use the coconut vinegar just as I would any vinegar, in sauces, salsas, mustard, marinades, dips, dressings and cooking.

I find it and the palm and cane vinegars are particularly good in fresh vegetable pickles. It doesn't have a distinctive taste - just is made from coconut juice.

I combine shredded daikon, jicama, cabbage and carrot and pickle them in a fairly sweet mixture using one of the above or the pineapple vinegar, which does have a flavor.

I also use it when I make gado-gado, the Indonesian salad with peanut sauce.

"There are, it has been said, two types of people in the world. There are those who say: this glass is half full. And then there are those who say: this glass is half empty. The world belongs, however, to those who can look at the glass and say: What's up with this glass? Excuse me? Excuse me? This is my glass? I don't think so. My glass was full! And it was a bigger glass!" Terry Pratchett

 

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I was digging around in a cupboard and found another.

Jackfruit vinegar - I don't remember buying it but I often come across things that I have picked up while shopping because they look interesting and they get pushed back on a shelf and I forget about them.

One of the bottles of palm vinegar says it is made from "toddy" palm, whatever that is.

Apparently there is more to the subject of vinegar than I realized.

Now I have to see if I can find the Chinese blacks and others that sound interesting.

"There are, it has been said, two types of people in the world. There are those who say: this glass is half full. And then there are those who say: this glass is half empty. The world belongs, however, to those who can look at the glass and say: What's up with this glass? Excuse me? Excuse me? This is my glass? I don't think so. My glass was full! And it was a bigger glass!" Terry Pratchett

 

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One more thing. Regarding the "old" balsamic vinegars that are used for flavoring.

One of my friends told me to try a couple of drops on the yolk of a (cut in half) hard-boiled egg. I did and it was delicious. The little bottle came with a dropper so one can dole it out drop-by-drop.

"There are, it has been said, two types of people in the world. There are those who say: this glass is half full. And then there are those who say: this glass is half empty. The world belongs, however, to those who can look at the glass and say: What's up with this glass? Excuse me? Excuse me? This is my glass? I don't think so. My glass was full! And it was a bigger glass!" Terry Pratchett

 

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I notice the tomato vinegar shown in helenas' post above. 

I had some "tomato water" vinegar (loose translation) that was sent to me by a friend in Roumania several years ago.  It had a very interesting flavor and was great in salad dressings.  I have looked for a similar product several times but have never come across it.  Where is this one made?

The one on my pic is produced by austrian artisan vinegaron Gegenbauer(check the site even if for recipes only) and was mail ordered from L'Epicerie.

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Seems my collection is about the same as most:

White distilled is for cleaning and pickles.

Balsamic

White Rice

White Rice Seasoned with Basil and Oregano

Black Rice

Cider

Red Wine

White Wine

Malt

Champagne

Raspberry

Tarragon

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How many of you out there have aged balsamico from Italy in their pantries?

I hemmed and hawed after spending three months in Italy last year whether to bring some of the real 20, 30 or more years aged tradizionale stuff back, and eventually I decided not to. Just too much dough for something I ultimately would feel a bit guilty using - but what a treat! Some of the better, and inexpensive, commercial stuff actually gets in the ballpark, but most of 'em are in the bleachers.

Obviously, this is special occasion stuff, but what are you using it on?

And, what are some of your favourite, commercial (ie non-tradizionale) substitutes? Fini is easily available around here and if memory serves, was decent - maybe a bit mellow (caremelly?) but I don't have any at present to confirm my memory. a local place (the Cheese Boutique) imports some young balsamic and ages it further in oak (again - not entirely sure) barrels. I've found it a bit tart on its own, but I haven't had a real aged balsamic here to compare it to and it's been a couple of years, maybe less a bit since I've tasted the real thing.

So, to cut short my rambling, what are some of the better commercial substitutes for the real (and real expensive - but deservedly so) aged balsamico from Modena and environs.

Cheers,

Geoff Ruby

my oldest is a 40 year balsamic, used sparingly...I like it on perfectly cooked steak (rare).

I use a 20 yr. old more often, and it is a wonderful thing...didn't pay near as much, for twice as much. not as syrupy but tasty anyway.

I too feel like the slouch in this forum, I only have one asian and have never heard of black vinegar. But considering what's available on the grocer's shelves I guess I've done pretty well. I've mail ordered for most of my stuff and carried many a jar/bottle of good olive oil and vinegar on my lap in a plane. I'm going to A&M next month to drop some kids at camp and plan on doing a 4 day stay in Houston FOOD SHOPPING!! and I'm as excited about it as I've been about anything (except the trip to Ireland a couple of years back). Now I have something else to add to my shopping list...black vinegar. But what do I do with it once I get it???? I don't buy things to look at, I like to play.

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I notice all the bottles and collections and am quite impressed with the variety of vinegars used. I must also add that I have not seen a vinegar barrel. Making vinegar is easy, fun and delightful to use. I highly recomend it. Currently we are making "everywine" vinegar, maple vinegar and ruby port vinegar. We supplement our base with banyuls, rice vinegar balsamic everyday use and aged juniper and cherry wood, minus eight vinegar, sherry vinegar several others as well my memory is currently failing me. We have further discussion about making vinegar here.ideasinfood

h. alexander talbot

chef and author

Levittown, PA

ideasinfood

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I notice all the bottles and collections and am quite impressed with the variety of vinegars used.  I must also add that I have not seen a vinegar barrel.  Making vinegar is easy, fun and delightful to use.  I highly recomend it.  Currently we are making "everywine" vinegar, maple vinegar and ruby port vinegar.  We supplement our base with banyuls, rice vinegar balsamic everyday use and aged juniper and cherry wood, minus eight vinegar, sherry vinegar several others as well my memory is currently failing me.  We have further discussion about making vinegar here.ideasinfood

I was just going to ask - is anyone making their own vinegar?

I haven't checked out the link yet, but one of the obvious benefits would be to make vinegars that aren't commercially available. Can anybody making their own vinegar comment on flavour differences between home made and commercial?

Cheers,

Geoff Ruby

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I notice the tomato vinegar shown in helenas' post above. 

I had some "tomato water" vinegar (loose translation) that was sent to me by a friend in Roumania several years ago.  It had a very interesting flavor and was great in salad dressings.  I have looked for a similar product several times but have never come across it.  Where is this one made?

The one on my pic is produced by austrian artisan vinegaron Gegenbauer(check the site even if for recipes only) and was mail ordered from L'Epicerie.

I am replying to you in reference to the Gegenbauer website.............. YOU FIEND!!! That is truly one remarkable company. Except now I really must have those vinegars and the oils and maybe some of their veggie mustard and, and, and. I mean Elderberry Balsamic Vinegar :shock: for goodness sake. I will probably end up broke and homeless pushing around my grocery cart full of Gegenbauer products. But I have a feeling it would be worth it. :laugh:

Inside me there is a thin woman screaming to get out, but I can usually keep the Bitch quiet: with CHOCOLATE!!!

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Highchef said: Now I have something else to add to my shopping list...black vinegar. But what do I do with it once I get it???? I don't buy things to look at, I like to play.

I, who cannot figure out how to use the quote function when there are two or more different authors reply: Well, it's not unlike balsamic, maybe not quite as sweet generally. I think it would make a decent substitute for balsamic in a vinaigrette.

As for its use in authentic Chinese cooking - I'm out of my league there. I'm sure I bought it to make a recipe that called for it, and since I live around the corner from one of the largest Chinatowns in North America it wasn't a big deal to go and get a bottle. But I have to admit I don't use it often, and when I run out, I'll probably just stick to using balsamic, especially if pantry space in my new place is tight. I also don't know if there is or isn't much variation among brands, or whether any particular brands are of higher quality than others.

Cheers,

Geoff Ruby

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For those that are interested, this site The Vinegar Institute has a member list that gives the address, contact information and products of a great many producers of specialty vinegars.

I note that one in Louisiana is in Abbeville, which I think is not a great distance from Mayhaw Man, at least as the crow flies.......

Regarding the above post that included a mention of soy sauce. I do have several types - I use a lot of sweet soy sauce in marinades and dips. I have a mushroom soy sauce that I use in meat balls and meat loaf.

Someone else may have posted this site by The vinegar Man which has some interesting information.

I make my own vinegar and have for many years. I have friends who are wine fanatics - they won't drink some wines after the bottle has been opened for a couple of days - and they save the "leftover" wine, still in the bottle, for me for my vinegar making. I also get any that are opened, tasted and found to be not to their preference.

This group gets together once a month for tasting of new finds or old bottles that have reached their peak. (I don't drink so I couldn't tell one from the other, but I am often invited because I don't mind "helping" with the food - actually they know it would take an act of congress to keep me out of the kitchen.)

After these events, I usually go home with at least a half-case of partially filled bottles, sometimes more.

I will take some photos when I am home.

"There are, it has been said, two types of people in the world. There are those who say: this glass is half full. And then there are those who say: this glass is half empty. The world belongs, however, to those who can look at the glass and say: What's up with this glass? Excuse me? Excuse me? This is my glass? I don't think so. My glass was full! And it was a bigger glass!" Terry Pratchett

 

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Highchef said: Now I have something else to add to my shopping list...black vinegar. But what do I do with it once I get it???? I don't buy things to look at, I like to play.

I, who cannot figure out how to use the quote function when there are two or more different authors reply: Well, it's not unlike balsamic, maybe not quite as sweet generally. I think it would make a decent substitute for balsamic in a vinaigrette.

As for its use in authentic Chinese cooking - I'm out of my league there. I'm sure I bought it to make a recipe that called for it, and since I live around the corner from one of the largest Chinatowns in North America it wasn't a big deal to go and get a bottle. But I have to admit I don't use it often, and when I run out, I'll probably just stick to using balsamic, especially if pantry space in my new place is tight. I also don't know if there is or isn't much variation among brands, or whether any particular brands are of higher quality than others.

Cheers,

Geoff Ruby

well that's 2 of us who can't use the quote function. Someday I'll learn how to post pictures as well. I too am out of my league with the Chinese cooking. I don't live in an area that's condusive to learning either, unfortunatly. I do try it as often as possible in larger cities, but to ask for specifics as to use a particular item...well, I just need a friend there to guide me. Vietnamese resturants and a Thai have opened recently. That helps my taste buds get familiar with the regions initially. The Chinese resturants that have been here for years have helped as well. I do have the Time Life series on the various cuisines of the world and need to break into it again when I have time. I am enjoying the vineagars I have, though, and the spicy/hot vs. sweet/cool have many, many places in the things I cook now. Like the Latin dinner I do with my island friends every 6 months. Lemon grass and Kaffir lime are common ingredients with Thai food. Every thing is connected, and the more I cook, the more I see that. Good vineagar is a gift. I literally, highly reccomend it as a wedding present! (aged basalmic...expensive, and only give it to someone you know loves to cook. It took me years to buy myself that present

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Ok, I went and had a sniff and a taste of the black vinegar in my cupboard, and it definitely had a roasty, coffeeish aroma and flavour. Does this jibe with other folks' experiences with this variety ofvinegar?

I have Gold Plum brand.

Cheers,

Geoff Ruby

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I feel inadequate. One jug of white vinegar (used all over the house), one jug of cider vinegar (for some reason I favor the cider vinegar), one bottle of red wine vinegar (and a cheap one, at that). I can't justify putting up the money for a bottle of anything that I won't use. I find that my vinegar use goes way up in the summer as sesonal gardens come into season here.

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Ok, I went and had a sniff and a taste of the black vinegar in my cupboard, and it definitely had a roasty, coffeeish aroma and flavour.  Does this jibe with other folks' experiences with this variety ofvinegar?

I have Gold Plum brand.

Cheers,

Geoff Ruby

Mine tastes like worchestershire sauce :huh: , not sure what brand, they say it goes good with western and aisian dishes.

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I collect vinegars like most people collect matchbooks. Its a destination in itself on vacation. I had to think for a minute, but here is my list.

1.White distilled

2.Chinese Red

3.Chinese Black

4. Everyday Basalmic-Tesoro

5. Honey

6. Coconut

7.Sugarcane

8.Lime Juice

9.Cider

10.Maple syrup

11.Sherry

12Rice Wine

13. Pineapple

I like substituting the sugar cane vinegar in my barbeque and mops, there is still a zing, but there is a roundness to it that is nice.

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