Vinegar

Discussion in 'Food & Cooking' started by greasechef, May 22, 2006.

  1. greasechef

    greasechef

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    Here is a question that I can't seem to get a satisfactory answer to. What is regular white vinegar made of? Read the ingredients and you see, "Vinegar."

    Red wine and balsamic vinegar are obvious, but white...???

    So what is it before it is distilled white vinegar?
    Grapes? Wheat? Potatoes? Rice? Old Tennis Shoes? Cabbage?
     
  2. steve a

    steve a

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    Vinegar link. Actually, I had never thought to ask THAT question. I had made my own red and white wine vinegar, as well as sherry vinegar (when I lived in Spain) before. But white?? Hmm...

    Ciao,
     
  3. phatch

    phatch Moderator Staff Member

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    By vinegar, I'm guessing you mean white vinegar.

    It can be made a bunch of ways, from oxidating a distillied liquor to adding acetic acid to water. My understanding is that is usually a grain source, but have heard of apples frequently too.

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Vinegar is worth reading.

    That article mentions a beer vinegar in Germany. I never saw it there and it sounds interesting.

    Which leads me to my question. I've found it harder and harder to find real cider vinegar. I keep finding "cider vinegar flavored" vinegar at my grocers and I don't think it's at all satisfactory. I can find the real thing by the quart, but I prefer it by the gallon and the gallons are rarely real.

    Phil
     
  4. greasechef

    greasechef

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    From http://archive.tri-cityherald.com/re...es/food4.html:

    White distilled vinegar is also widely available and is made from ethyl alcohol. As it is very strongly and sharply flavored, it is probably not the best choice for making herb vinegars, but is well-suited for pickling.

    From other sites I see that ethyl alcohol is made of cereal grains, but most commonly corn. So, looks like white vinegar is a corn product.

    Thanks! I'll sleep better tonight.
     
  5. shroomgirl

    shroomgirl

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    I just paid $54 for a gallon of organic apple cider viniager. Caught me by surprise. I've bought their product in the past but not a gl at a time....it was sticker shock....and that does not happen often.
     
  6. jonk

    jonk

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    Distilled vinegar is diluted acetic acid, a major industrial chemical. Its major source used to be destructive distillation of wood, though today the major route is from a catalyzed reaction of methanol (wood alcohol) with carbon monoxide (yes, that poisoness gas from incomplete combustion). That said, most food-grade acetic acid and hence most distilled vinegar, is made from ethyl alcohol by fermentation with acetobacter bacteria, in a continuously stirred tank through which air or oxygen is bubbled. The "vinegar" produced over about two to three days is about 15% acetic acid. It is then diluted with water to make the store product. Industrial ethanol is made from ethylene gas from petroleum, but again the food grade product is made largely by fermentation of grains, predominently corn in the United States. The starch of corn has to be converted to sugars first, either by treatment with acid or enzymes (in brewing, the germinating grain produces the needed enzyme). Distilled vinegar, however, can be made from industrial ethanol.
     
  7. bigwheel

    bigwheel

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    Well Braggs is about the only brand of raw organic apple cider Vinegar I ever heard about. Used to only get it at the health food shoppe for about 4 bucks a quart. Now most of the well heeled yuppeie grocery stores down here is prone to carry it for about fifty cents less. Not sure why some shyster hit you for 54 bucks a gallon. Thats highway robbery. Will testify if a person wants to whup up a vinagarette using the stuff..it will flat make a person chunk rocks at the high dollar multi generational aged balsamic non-sense in comparison. Just my dos centavos of course.

    bigwheel