You can catch more flies with honey than vinegar… unless it’s balsamic vinegar.
So there are two types of vinegar that most people think of when they think of vinegar, and most of it is crystal clear and comes in a plastic jug labeled “white vinegar.” The other kind is the thick, almost syrup-like culinary black magic that is balsamic vinegar, which draws more flies than honey does. Outside of this, there’s a positive rainbow of flavors and preparations for vinegar that most people have never heard of. Vinegar Day is out to change all that by introducing you to the delicious range of flavors that are possible with vinegar.
History of Vinegar Day
Vinegar is the result of the natural fermentation process that creates wine when it is left unchecked or deliberately allowed to proceed. It has a distinctive flavor that is used to enhance the flavors of a million different recipes and is central to the pickling process that makes so many foods able to be preserved. You may be surprised to find out how many things contain vinegar; they cross the range from the fairly obvious pickle all the way to the somewhat surprising ketchup!
How many types of vinegar are there? More than you could imagine, but some of the most basic varieties are balsamic vinegar, red wine vinegar, white wine vinegar, apple cider vinegar, distilled white vinegar, champagne vinegar, rice vinegar, sherry vinegar, and a myriad of others too numerous to name. Each of these can also be found stuffed with certain herbs and spices to create a unique experience and bring a unique flavor to every dish they touch.
Throughout history vinegar has been prized for the light tangy flavor it brings to many foods, and especially for its preservation properties in times when refrigeration wasn’t invented yet, and salt was as precious as gold. Vinegar Day reminds us to experiment with this range of flavors and discover precisely what the world has to offer.
How to Celebrate Vinegar Day
Celebrating Vinegar Day can best be accomplished by going to a specialty store and collecting a broad range of vinegars to sample. If you want to be creative, you can do the same thing with olive oil, the two blends together perfectly to create that popular salad dressing known as a vinaigrette. Take these two ingredients and serve them up with a sliced loaf of French bread and small bowls containing a sample of each. Dip your bread in one or both and enjoy the flavors they bring.
NATIONAL VINEGAR DAY TIMELINE
The most popular beverage in ancient Greece was the Oxycrat – a mix of vinegar, honey, and water, and was known as the drink of the people.
The government of Vienna, faced with the outbreak of cholera, issued a provision that all items, food, clothing, and hands had to be carefully sanitized with vinegar.
Cartoon character Muriel from ‘Courage the Cowardly Dog’ uses vinegar as her secret ingredient in all her delicious recipes.
Referring the graphic novel ‘V for Vendetta,’ someone in Brazil created a “V for Vinegar” page following police claims that vinegar can be used for making bombs.
WHY WE LOVE NATIONAL VINEGAR DAY
The earliest preservative
As far back as 5,000 BC, the Babylonians were believed to have fermented palm dates to create both palm wine and palm vinegar. We can assume what they did with the wine, but it’s what they did with the vinegar that’s more interesting. This was most likely the first instance of pickling to preserve foods to eat at a later time. 7,000 years later, this is still one of vinegar’s most useful properties.
A culinary cure-all
Vinegar’s unique taste and properties interact in great ways with common ingredients. Specifically, vinegar can kick up a dish that’s lacking spunk, or save one that’s maybe a bit too spicy for people. It only takes a few dashes though to make the food chemicals react, though, so be careful. Otherwise, you may end up eating salt and vinegar flavored everything.
A super science experiment component
Beyond the standard volcano, vinegar can play a powerful role in teaching kids about the basics of chemistry. There are several experiments that can show how CO2 interacts with fire, what vinegar can do to an egg, and how to build your own battery.
NATIONAL VINEGAR DAY DATES