Vinegar has a long a long and special role in mankind’s history, vinegar is in use since the times of Babylonians who used it as preservative. Babylonians marked the ability of vinegar to bring down the growth of bacteria in edible objects. Sumerian used it for cleaning articles and it was a revered beverage of Caesar’s army. Greeks used vinegar as disinfectant for wounds and believed in health boosting effects of a honey-vinegar preparation that was basically used by patients recovering from various illnesses. Samurai warriors also dosed themselves up with vinegar tonics to increase strength.
So, what is vinegar basically?
Vinegar is a dilute acetic acid solution prepared by double fermentation, first of all natural sugars are fermented into a liquid containing alcohol and then this liquid is fermented into vinegar. There are various sources of natural sugars that are used for preparing alcoholic liquid like barley, rice, apple, grapes etc. Beer, wine, hard cider etc. are fermented from barley, grapes, apples respectively. A vinegar is named after the alcoholic liquid that has been used for fermentation e.g. cider vinegar, red wine vinegar etc. Generally, the second fermentation could take a long time and can take place even without human efforts. The word vinegar comes from a French word meaning “sour wine” so, most likely vinegar was an accidental discovery from an old left out wine that could have fermented naturally without any human processing.
Vinegar is one of the healthiest and easily available ingredients for enhancing the flavours of our food. It contains very little calorie and can be used as an alternative for fat filled mayonnaise in salads. Vinegar can also be used as an alternative of flavour enhancers containing sodium, sodium increases the chances of high blood pressure, causes weight gain due to water retention and makes anyone more vulnerable to kidney and heart ailments. By replacing sodium in diet with vinegar, one can usher a new chapter to healthier life. Vinegar is like a blessing to patients of diabetes, it helps in proper digestion of food and helps to maintain a steady level of blood sugar. A vinegar and water solution can be used to wash fruits and vegetables to get rid of harmful pesticides clung to them. Vinegar is an easy, effective and convenient kitchen ingredient with many boons in store, something that makes it an inalienable part of every kitchen.