The Versatile Vineger

When you pick that bottle of vinegar from your kitchen shelf to add to salad, you do not realize that you are hanging on to a 7000-year-old tradition. Yes!!! , vinegar consumption dates back to 5000BC. Babylonians used it as a condiment and a preservative, just as we are still doing.

What makes it a good preservative?

The antimicrobial property of vinegar is the reason to use it as a preservative. It was used in wound treatment and as a general antiseptic by 2000BC. It was used to treat wounds during  World War 1.

This preservation property of vinegar initiated its use in the pickling industry during the Greek civilization. Do you know, vinegar was a by-product in the making of different fermented beverages like wine and beer. Hence the name vinegar, which means sour vine (‘vin aigre’) in French. Romans also used it as a drink.

Vinegar is also used to preserve the flavours and aromas of edible flowers. Vinegar is poured over the flower petals till they are completely immersed. The mixture is kept for 2 to 3 weeks in a dark spot, it absorbs the taste and aroma of petals. Stir it after every 5-6 days and you have a new flavorful salad dressing in your hands. White vinegar is preferred as it’s colourless but one can use apple cider with equally tasteful results. To accelerate the process, warm vinegar may be added to flower petals. Apples, roses, pineapples, chives, etc can be used to create floral vinegar. 

Vinegar is a diluted acetic acid. It is very popular as a flavouring agent for foods, used either directly or indirectly. It is made from a wide range of fruits and plants including apples, barley, coconuts, grapes, dates, kiwis, sugarcanes, etc. Its sharp taste makes it so useful and versatile. It is one of the ingredients in salad dressing and sauces like tomato ketchup, mustard sauce, tabasco, and pickles. When vinegar is mixed with oil and salt, it makes classic vinaigrette.

In UK and USA, cider vinegar is used as table vinegar while in Ireland, it is malt vinegar is popular. In grape-growing countries like France, Spain, and Italy, wine vinegar is the most popular. In India, synthetic vinegar is the most popular one. 

Vinegar is a powerful defense against bacteria, viruses, and fungus due to its antiseptic properties. You must have read about using the vinegar + water solution as the last rinse of hair wash to treat scalp problems like itching and dandruff. It is also used as a pain reliever and is considered to lower bad cholesterol, reduce high blood pressure, heal respiratory infections, prevent diarrhea and ease constipation. It is also believed to balance blood sugar. Some more benefits are - toxins removal from the body and cleansing of the digestive and urinary tract.

The plain, assuming vinegar is quite versatile. 

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  1. Although I dislike vinegar, it does offer a treasure trove of uses 😊 Nice post!

  2. I enjoyed reading this post ... may be because of my liking for chemistry and science in general. Vinegar has so many good properties, that many people don't realise.
    V = Vaccination


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