Vinegars are among the most important ingredients in cooking a number of different types of cuisines. They are common throughout much of Europe, the Middle East and many other areas. However, in order to best use the vinegar that is available to you, you’ll need to know a bit about the type of vinegar that you’re using and the various benefits of using it.
While all vinegar is generally made through the same process, the ingredients can vary. Each different type of vinegar will be provided in different concentrations and with unique flavors as well. For more information about some of the best vinegars that you should consider using in healthy cooking at home, read on.
1. Wine Vinegar
One of the more common types of vinegar is either red or white wine vinegar. The quality of the vinegar itself is largely dependent upon the quality of the wine. Because vinegar is made through a fermentation process and then a distillation process, it shares many traits with wine in the first place. It is thus a natural fit to make vinegar from wine. In particular, wine vinegar is helpful in cooking and in making sauces and reductions for different types of meat. The acidity of the vinegar helps to cut into the meat and will produce a lovely, thorough flavor.
2. Apple Cider Vinegar
Another common type of vinegar is apple cider vinegar. This vinegar is touted for having a range of potential health benefits, although many people find that it’s a bit too harsh for their liking. Because apple cider vinegar is oftentimes delivered undiluted and unpasteurized, it should be mixed in with water or fruit juice before being consumed alone. Generally speaking, however, people will use apple cider vinegar in cooking and other more complicated operations in which the harsh flavor of the liquid will be cut out, at least partially.
3. Balsamic Vinegar
Perhaps the single most iconic type of vinegar that exists in the United States, balsamic vinegar is often paired with olive oil in traditional Italian cooking. It is a flavorful and dark vinegar which contains a number of vitamins and minerals in it. This type of vinegar ranges dramatically in terms of overall quality and color, and many people find that it’s worthwhile to spend a bit of extra money in order to track down a higher quality vinegar. Balsamic vinegar is a staple ingredient in many forms of salad dressing.
4. Rice Vinegar
Most popular in Asian cooking is rice vinegar. Created from a process of fermenting rice mash, this vinegar is available in two different varieties. The lighter red type is more popular in Japanese cuisine, while the darker black type is prevalent in Southeast Asian cooking and in some Chinese cooking as well.