Vinegars, Sauces, and Pastes

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Vinegars

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APPLE CIDER VINEGAR

It is made by crushing apples and squeezing out the liquid. Bacteria and yeast are added to the liquid to start the alcoholic fermentation process, and the sugars are turned into alcohol. In a second fermentation process, the alcohol is converted into vinegar by acetic acid-forming bacteria (acetobacter). Acetic acid and malic acidgive vinegar its sour taste.[1]

When shopping for a good apple cider vinegar, look for one that’s well filtered. Apple particulates tend to re-ferment, causing the vinegar to taste a little too yeasty over time, so the less sediment clouding the bottle, the better. It should have a round flavor, with a bit of fruit on the nose and a little sweetness. Think of biting into a fresh apple: You’re looking for something refreshing, bright, and balanced, not mouth-puckeringly tart.

DISTILLED VINEGAR

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RICE VINEGAR

Given how much rice is produced in Asia, it’s unsurprising that a remarkable range of rice vinegars can be found there, too.

Soft on the palate and far less assertive than white wine vinegar, it’s a great background note in marinades and sauces. Make sure to buy an unseasoned variety to avoid any salt, sugar, and spices that might overshadow its natural flavor.

BALSAMIC VINEGAR

How it’s made:

Balsamic vinegar is made from the cooked must of Trebbiano grapes, which is then aged in a series of barrels (called a batteria) made of varying woods, from ash to cherry. Tradizionale balsamic is aged from 12 to 25 years or more, and can be made only in the cities of Modena and Reggio Emilia. However, the term “balsamic” can be applied to many different types of vinegar, including those made in the traditional manner but outside of the region, and even those that don’t follow the strictures for making tradizionale—for example, those made not by cooking down the grape must before fermentation, but by using grape concentrates and artificial colorings to replicate the authentic product.

There are several different tiers of balsamic vinegar. Tradizionale is the highest quality, followed by bottles marked IGP (indicazione geografica protetta), or PGI (protected geographical indication) in English

Uses:

Once you have it at home, use it in crisp salads, on top of cheese-stuffed pastas, and even on desserts (it’s quite good on baked apples). But keep in mind that the better the balsamic, the less heat you want to apply to it in cooking. You should avoid heating tradizionale whenever possible, since it’ll lose the characteristics and complexity that have taken over a decade to develop. A few drops of it on strawberries, aged Parmigiano-Reggiano, or even panna cotta will really show off its flavors. On the other hand, adding some to a butter sauce served over fresh tortelliwill highlight its deep and lingering acidity. Less pricey IGP balsamics are ideal for cooked preparations. Try using them to accent barbecue sauces, or brush them onto hearty roasts to bring out their robust meatiness.

WHITE BALSAMIC VINEGAR

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RED/WHITE WINE VINEGAR

When searching for red wine vinegar, pretend you’re shopping for wine, and look for bottles with the name of the grape on the label; the alternative is a field blend of wines that ferment at different times and temperatures, which can get muddied in flavor.

Red wine vinegar has a bold intensity that makes it a great addition to salad dressings featuring strong flavors, like whole grain mustard and garlic.

As with red wine vinegars, look for a single-appellation grape variety on the label.

Both Champagne and white wine vinegars are wonderful in salad vinaigrettes, Hollandaise sauce, Béarnaise sauce, emulsified dressings and mayonnaise, and beurre blanc for fish.

Sauces / Pastes

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TAHINI

The essential paste in my fridge

Made from ground sesame seeds

Look in the refrigerated section

Uses: hummus, dressings

MISO

The fermented paste from Asia

TAMARI

https://www.thespruce.com/what-is-tamari-3376809

https://www.thespruce.com/what-are-braggs-liquid-aminos-3376805

https://www.thespruce.com/what-is-soy-sauce-1328450

https://www.thespruce.com/what-is-nama-shoyu-3376440

VEGAN MAYO

Who knew there could be a tasty vegan option. I truly detested mayo until my mid twenties when I lived in the Netherlands for two years. Mayo is basically a country staple. However, it was also the first time I tasted freshly made mayoinasie and aoili. I vowed to never buy a shelf stable jar of Heinz mayo in my life. If whipping up egg yolks and oil isn’t your thing check out Just Mayo. A vegan mayo that gives the same

DIJON

The little kick can copletely change the flavor of a dressing or a boring dish. Opt out of the commercial yellow goo and check some artisinal varieties. Mustards can range in flavor due to their varied ingredients. Check the back label and avoid processed products containing excessive salt or sugar.

https://www.thespruce.com/what-is-dijon-mustard-995645

HOT SAUCE

It’s unusual that I have less than three different kinds of hot sauces in my cupboard. My husband has an addiction to the burning sensation. My culinary use tends to be more specific to Mexican dishes, intensifying the spiciness of soups, and gives a kick to some of my favorite salads. Use is more sparingly than Mark does. There is the potential for gastrointestinal upset, especially with long-term use.

TOMATO PASTE

Tomato paste is one of those essentials that gets used all over the palce

in the tube

TAMARIND PASTE

sweet and sour, tangy and tart taste, and the jar will keep in your pantry until well after you’ve obscured it with other ingredients.

  • Add it to any chilicurry, or dal for a rich and sour sweetness. I particularly like it in tomato-based soups, stews, and shakshukas.
  • Plunk some into the sauce for a stir-fry, or splash it into a noodle soup.

https://www.thekitchn.com/technique-how-to-use-tamarind-90339

https://www.thespruce.com/tamarind-paste-overview-3217073

6 Dressings I Love

Dressing 1

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  • ingredient 2
  • ingredient 3
  • ingredient 4

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  • ingredient 4

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Dressing 1

  • ingredient 1
  • ingredient 2
  • ingredient 3
  • ingredient 4

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2018-04-14T20:21:38+00:00