Vinegar & Balsamic

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The History of Vinegar Vinegar has been around for over 6,000 years before the birth of Christ. However, the necessary acetic acid bacteria in wine and beer were probably formed accidentally. The Babylonians and Assyrians used vinegar as a remedy, especially for digestive problems and fever. The Romans used barley, grapes, and figs to make vinegar. Diluted with water, vinegar served as a refreshing drink called "Posca". In the Middle Ages, it was common to season food with vinegar. Not only was vinegar seasoning easier to digest, it could also preserve food. Even back then, it was common to enhance vinegar with the addition of herbs and/or spices. It wasn't until 1856 that Louis Pasteur discovered acetic acid bacteria. In 1868, he was able to grow acetic acid bacteria in a controlled manner and use it to produce wine vinegar. Pasteur's method was the basis for the submerged fermentation process still used today (and developed in 1949). These days, there are many different types of vinegar available. The most popular types in Germany are wine vinegar, spirit vinegar, fruit vinegar, and balsamic vinegar. The vinegar obtained through the submerged fermentation process (Acetator process) usually undergoes the following steps: filtration, pasteurization, addition of caramel color and flavor enhancers, as well as the addition of sulfur dioxide (for preservation purposes). Incidentally, vinegar manufacturers are not required to list sulfur as an ingredient if the amount is under 50 milligrams per liter. Wine Vinegar and Fruit Vinegar The wine vinegar product group can be divided into red wine vinegar and white wine vinegar. The average acidity is about six percent. Red wine vinegar is generally stronger than white wine vinegar and is therefore excellent for seasoning savory dishes. Among other things, you can use red wine vinegar when preparing game and other dark meats. Apart from that, red wine vinegar gives red cabbage an almost indispensable flavor. On the other hand, the much milder white wine vinegar can be used for preparing fish and white meats. Alternatively, white wine vinegar works well in many light sauces. In any case, the quality of wine vinegar depends largely on the quality of the wine used: better wine quality results in better vinegar quality. We offer wine vinegar from well-known manufacturers such as Hengstenberg and Kühne. Examples of products are Hengstenberg Red Wine Vinegar and Kühne Red Wine Vinegar. Fruit vinegar is produced whenever acetic acid bacteria convert fruit wine. The acidity of fruit vinegar is usually about five percent, which is lower than that of wine vinegar. The taste of fruit vinegar is milder and fruitier than that of wine vinegar. The most well-known and commonly used fruit vinegar is apple cider vinegar. You can use apple cider vinegar, for example, to season your salads, marinades, and sauces. Apple cider vinegar is even considered to be beneficial to health, as it contains relatively many minerals and a high proportion of potassium. Many people swear by the detoxifying and purifying effect of apple cider vinegar and take about two tablespoons of diluted apple cider vinegar daily. Spirit Vinegar or Table Vinegar Table vinegar or spirit vinegar is vinegar obtained from distilled alcohol. Sometimes, a mixture of spirit vinegar (75 percent) and wine vinegar (25 percent) is also available under the name table vinegar. You should choose table vinegar if you're looking for a flavorless vinegar. Spirit vinegar/table vinegar also usually contains five percent acidity. We offer products such as Gut & Günstig Table Vinegar 5% and Kühne Table Vinegar 5%. Above all, if you want to refine vinegar with herbs and spices, table vinegar is the right choice. In Germany, spirit vinegar is the most produced and sold type of vinegar. After all, spirit vinegar is often used to make mayonnaise, ketchup, and mustard. Furthermore, spirit vinegar/table vinegar is usually included in vegetable preserves. The best examples are pickled cucumbers and mixed pickles. Vinegar in Mediterranean Cuisine The now well-known and popular balsamic vinegar (Aceto balsamico) comes originally from northern Italy, specifically from the provinces of Modena or Emilia. There is a significant difference in quality between "Aceto Balsamico Tradizionale di Modena" (or "Aceto Balsamico Tradizionale di Reggio Emilia") and "Aceto Balsamico di Modena": The traditionally made products must meet certain guidelines, and their origin is protected. Aceto Balsamico Tradizionale is generally only made from boiled must of white grapes. The predominantly used varieties are Trebbiano and Sauvignon. The prescribed minimum maturation time in special wooden barrels is 12 years. After a maturation period of at least 25 years, the designation "extra vecchio" is awarded. This noble balsamic vinegar is used, not only in Italy, for preparing a delicious vinaigrette for salads. A traditional dish from the Modena region is beef fillet in balsamic sauce. The balsamic vinegar commonly available in local supermarkets consists of wine vinegar and thickened grape must. Small amounts of genuine Aceto Balsamico Tradizionale are added to the higher quality varieties. If the balsamic vinegar is stored for at least 60 days in special wooden barrels, it may be called "Aceto Balsamico di Modena IGP". The abbreviation IGP stands for "Indicazione Geografica Protetetta", which corresponds to the German abbreviation "g.g.A. (Protected Geographical Indication)". In our food store, you can find balsamic vinegar that is labeled with the IGP authenticity seal, such as Kühne Italian Balsamic Vinegar Aceto Balsamico di Modena IGP and Bertolli Aceto Balsamico di Modena IGP. Using Vinegar Essence While commercial vinegar usually contains five or six percent acetic acid and accordingly 95 or 94 percent water, vinegar essence has a ratio of 25 to 75 percent. If you want to use vinegar essence as vinegar for cooking, you must dilute the essence with four parts water. In addition, vinegar essence is an old home remedy that you can use for various purposes. For example, diluted vinegar essence can be used against foot fungus and warts, provided that the treatment is carried out regularly. To eliminate weeds in your beds, you can mix vinegar essence and water in a ratio of 1:4 and put the mixture in a spray bottle. Vinegar essence has also proven to be effective in descaling washing machines and coffee machines. Are you annoyed by lime deposits on tiles in the bathroom or kitchen? Here too, vinegar essence can help, which should be removed with water after application and a short exposure time.