Gourmet Foods 101
Did you know?
"There are over 70 varieties of olives grown throughout the world which are used to make olive oil"

Apple Cider Vinegar

From the Orchard to Your Table

Apple cider vinegar is light, golden-colored vinegar that is distilled from apples. This vinegar possesses a tart, fruity flavor, which makes it ideal for use in salads and general purpose cooking. Apple cider vinegar has a distinct and tangy apple taste to it and is often used in countries that have considerable apple production such as France, Britain, Canada, USA, Australia, New Zealand and Germany.

Many moons ago, it was discovered that if you left grape juice alone it would eventually turn to wine. Shortly after that, it was discovered that wine left alone and exposed to air would eventually turn to vinegar. However, it took quite a long time for cooks to start using vinegar as an ingredient for sauces, pickles, salad dressings and marinades. Babylonians then soon found out that vinegar had excellent preservative powers when used in pickling.

Vinegar is a very versatile type of acid and it seems a little odd that something so flavorful is also used for other totally unrelated purposes. Today, vinegar is used as an ingredient in many assorted recipes and it is also used in industrial products. It is often used as a disinfectant and can be used for window cleaning. It is also used as a cleaner of coffee pots, stain remover, deodorant, hair conditioner, cat repellent and weed killer. In industry, vinegar is used in the production of textiles, plastics, fabrics, photographic materials, dyes, pharmaceuticals and branded households items.

Vinegar can be easily made by adding sugar to water and then fermenting it by adding yeast to the solution. Once the yeast has turned all of the sugar to alcohol it will eventually convert it to acetic acid. For industrial use, the alcohol base is injected with oxygen to speed up the conversion.

Apple cider vinegar is generally made from fresh, crushed, organically grown apples and is aged in wooden barrels, which boost its natural fermentation qualities. However, sometimes it is produced in stainless steel barrels. Apple cider vinegar doesn't need to be refrigerated, but you should keep it out of direct sunlight and in a relatively cool place. It has a shelf life of three to five years, after the bottling date.

Apple cider vinegar is believed to be very healthy for you as it helps remove body toxins, helps maintain healthy skin, improves digestion, assimilation, and it helps to soothe tight and aching joints and muscles.