Image from Wikimedia; photo by Matthias Meckel Ah, what would fish and chips be without malt vinegar non-brewed condiment? Non-brewed condiment is more quintessentially British than even malt vinegar since while malt vinegar is produced and sold here in the US and other places, non-brewed condiment has a much more limited range of geographies where it can be sold since … Read More
The Great Vinegar Regions of the World
There are many great wine regions of the world from France to California to South Africa to Australia. Likewise, there are many great olive oil producing regions, many in the Mediterranean but also in California and other regions as well. What are the great regions for vinegar though? Vinegar is often mass produced but some regions retain a title as … Read More
The ‘Eternal Condiment’ arrives!
The first book length history of vinegar has now arrived! Available on Amazon the Eternal Condiment is a work almost five years in the making documenting the rise of vinegar from prehistory to the current crazes for balsamic and raw apple cider vinegar! Much of the historical information on this blog derived from research for this book. Get your copy … Read More
Tips on aging vinegar
For those who have made their own vinegar, or have bought some they want to age and refine, aging vinegar is the easy part though patience is a must. Vinegar can age almost indefinitely if stored right. Traditional Chinese vinegars are aged 3-6 years, traditional Balsamic is aged from 12-25 years and sherry vinegar can be aged for similar long … Read More
Mother or SCOBY?
This is a quick post to clarify some confusion I have run into from a lot of home fermenters. The rise of the popularity of kombucha has brought the notion of the SCOBY (Symbiotic Culture Of Bacteria and Yeast ) to name the thick gelatinous mass that sits on top of kombucha fermentations. Before this the more widely known and … Read More
Vinegar Aging and Value
Read the full book on the history of vinegar, Vinegar, The Eternal Condiment available on Amazon! Besides raw material, one of the big differentiators between premium and regular vinegars is the aging process. This can range from 2 months for Balsamic of Modena IGP to 6 months for basic sherry vinegar to 12 years for Gran Reserva Sherry or 25 … Read More
The ambivalent status of French Vinegar
French vinegar is good, but can it stand out? If there would be a country responsible for the development and refinement of vinegar in modern Europe, it would be France. Through the pre-Revolution corporations in many cities, especially the vinegar “capital” of Orléans, the Western traditional method of vinegar making matured from the 14th to 18th centuries. Though France was … Read More
Vinegar enters the trade wars
Vinegar, that titan of international commerce…. (only $500 million traded per year globally) True or not, vinegar has found its way into the crosshairs of the growing trade war between the US and China. In the most recent round of tariff proposals, which were originally set at 10% but are now 25%, the US added HTS code 2209 – which … Read More
My vinegar smells like acetone (nail polish remover)!
If you make vinegar long enough you have to tackle almost every problem. I sometimes get emails and questions about an “acetone” smell from vinegar, very similar to nail polish remover. What does this mean? First, you must understand the process by which acetic acid bacteria turn alcohol into vinegar. The short chemical pathway is: Alcohol (Ethanol) + Oxygen -> … Read More
Will 2018 or 2019 see a sherry vinegar shortage?
Sherry vinegar (Vinagre de Jerez) has increasingly become well-known and a hot commodity. The trade industry association of sherry vinegar vinagreros (vinegar makers) in Andalusia, Asevijerez, has indicated a widespread concern in the industry due to a shortage of sherry wine used as raw material to make sherry vinegar. As is well-known, the traditional sherry vinegar process can take time … Read More