Why is flavored apple-cider vinegar so expensive? I think it’s time that we take a stand against over-priced, flavored vinegar and I have just the solution.
Recently, I came across a booklet titled, “The Vinegar Book” (Tresco Publishers, 1996) at my local public library’s used book store. Interestingly, this booklet was placed in the “free” section, along with old periodicals, weathered maps, and not-so-current newspapers. I just couldn’t pass it up. As I leafed through it, I found a lot of interesting commentary on vinegar. However, chapter seven titled, “Cooking with Vinegar” quickly caught my eye.
Shown below are three of the flavored apple-cider vinegar recipes in the booklet. I chose these three because they are simple, yet they use popular flavorings. Beware, though, that aging of the mixture is integral to the process, so patience is required.
Before we get to the recipes though…have you ever wondered how to choose a good quality vinegar? The answer is…shake it up, of course:
Vinegar Test: Shake it up!
Check for sediment at the bottom of the vinegar bottle. If there is none, the very best part has probably been filtered out. Avoid the perfectly clear varieties.
A TRIO OF FLAVORED APPLE-CIDER VINEGAR RECIPES:
Hot Pepper Apple-Cider Vinegar
- Add 1/2 oz. cayenne pepper to 1 pint of apple-cider vinegar.
- Shake it (the bottle, not your bottom!) every other day for two weeks.
- Strain before using.
Garlic Lover’s Apple-Cider Vinegar
- Separate and peel all the cloves of a large garlic bulb.
- Put them in a quart of apple-cider vinegar and allow to steep for 2 weeks.
- Strain off the vinegar and discard the garlic.
- Only a few drops are needed in most dishes.
Onion Apple-Cider Vinegar
- Peel three small onions and drop them, whole, into 1 quart of apple-cider vinegar.
- Wait three weeks. (You don’t have to wait right there, you can do other things).
- Remove the onions.
- Use the vinegar sparingly, as a few drops will be enough to season most foods.
A few interesting vinegar facts:
- The acid in vinegar acts as a meat tenderizer by softening it’s muscle fibers. As a result, you can use less expensive cuts of meat in many recipes.
- Vinegar aids in the digestion of cellulose, so it can be used on course, fibrous or stringy cooked vegetables, such as beets, cabbage, spinach and celery. Or, use it on raw vegetables such as cucumbers, kale, lettuce, carrots and broccoli.
- Use a splash of vinegar to give soups more flavor without increasing the amount of added salt.
So, instead of paying high prices for flavored apple-cider vinegar, just make your own. It’s easy!
Sources: “The Vinegar Book,” by Emily Thacker, Tresco Publishers, Canton, OH 1996.