5 Vinegars You Must Experiment With and Why

Vinegar stems from the French word meaning sour wine. There’s some truth to that, since vinegar is made by adding bacteria to various types of alcohol, causing it to turn into acid. Just as people take wine seriously, they also collect certain aged vinegars, which mature into perfectly sweet-sour syrups.

—Frieda Projanksy, managing editor at Baked. Follow Frieda on Twitter @friedaames.

Photo by Tara Botwinick, photo director at Baked.
Photo by Tara Botwinick, photo director at Baked.

1. Red/white wine vinegar

It contains a fruity tang and may even come infused with fruit. Red wine vinegar is often sold with raspberries, ideal for sauces and dressings. Champagne vinegar, made by adding bacteria to champagne, is delicate and best on greens.

2. Apple cider vinegar

Its tart, but subtle flavor is made from fermented apple liquid. It’s high in acetic acid, which accounts for reduced risk in weight gain and heart disease. This vinegar works well with marinated meats and dressings.

3. Balsamic vinegar

Made from grapes and most commonly used in dressings, aged balsamic vinegar—usually ranging between 6 to 25 years old—can be sold for $50 or more. It’s rich, sweet, and woody and can be drizzled over strawberries, savory cheese, and even ice cream.

4. Rice wine vinegar

Often used in Asian sauces and sushi, this vinegar has a clean flavor and doesn’t change the color of dishes, which makes it desirable for presentation purposes.

5. Malt vinegar

Made from a barley ale, malt vinegar can be used for pickling vegetables and as a condiment for dipping fries. However, it can be overpowering in sauces and dressings.

This story was originally featured in Baked’s Fall 2014 issue. To read more, click here.

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