You might be surprised to learn that there are dozens of types of vinegar. The most common vinegar used in the UK is obviously malt vinegar, but the more adventurous cooks may also use wine vinegars, cider vinegars, rice vinegars; or even a gourmet 25-year-old balsamic.

Vinegar is made from foods that contain natural sugars. Yeast ferments these sugars into alcohol, and bacteria convert that alcohol a second time into a weak acetic acid.  The vinegar produced as a result of this second fermentation retains flavours reminiscent of the original fermented food and the acetic acid is what gives vinegar its distinct tart taste. Pure acetic acid can be made in a laboratory (and is sometimes sold as white vinegar), but it lacks the subtle flavours found in true vinegars, and in our view it can’t compare to vinegars fermented naturally from sugar-laden fruits or other foods.

Vinegar was discovered - maybe by chance - more than 10,000 years ago. It can made from many different foods, (throughout the centuries it has been produced from grapes, apples, dates, berries, coconut and even honey).  Each adds their own taste to the final products, but additional ingredients, such as herbs, spices, or fruits, can also be added for further flavour enhancement. It is important not to expose true vinegars to air for extended periods as cloudiness may result as the natural fermentation continues. In extreme circumstances ‘Mother of Vinegar’ may form. Vinegar containing mother is not harmful and if it is present it can be easily removed by filtering.


Fruit Vinegars:

Our fruit vinegars are made from an infusion of the finest Italian wine vinegars, natural fruit juices and nothing else - no added sugars or preservatives! These vinegars taste great on their own and can be used on salads without adding oil, making them a useful fat free alternative. They can also be used in many other ways, for instance, as a really flavourful base for a home made mayo or for simply deglazing a roasting pan for a richer tasting gravy.


Balsamic Vinegar:

With a sweet and mellow flavour and a dark purple/brown colour, balsamic vinegar is full of subtle, complex flavours.  It is used as an ingredient in salad dressings, sauces and marinades. It also makes an excellent dipping sauce combined with a good quality olive oil, and on its own, as a topping drizzled on fresh strawberries.

 


 

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