National Vinegar Day
Pucker up, it's National Vinegar Day! Vinegar is a versatile sour liquid that is used with food as well as for cleaning and other household chores such as gardening and pest control. Foods can be preserved with it by being pickled. Cucumbers are one of the most common foods to be pickled, but other vegetables, meat, and fish can also be preserved in such a way. Vinegar is used to flavor food. When mixed with oil and seasonings it becomes vinaigrette, a type of cold sauce that is used as a dressing for salads and as a sauce for cooked and then chilled fish, meat, and vegetables. It can be used as a condiment, oftentimes being flavored with garlic, onions, tarragon, and other herbs and spices. It is also used as an ingredient in popular condiments such as mayonnaise, barbecue sauce, mustard, and ketchup. It can also be used as a marinade, or as a flavoring, such as in potato chips.
Vinegar is made by a fermentation process, which can go fast or slow, taking a few months or a year. Sugar in juice is converted into alcohol and carbon dioxide, and the alcohol combines with atmospheric oxygen to form acetic acid and water. The flavors and aromas of the different varieties of vinegar come from the organic acids and esters from the fruit or other source material. There are many varieties of vinegar, some being apple cider, red wine, white, balsamic, malt, beer, cane, coconut, rice, and sherry. The first vinegar was likely made from wine. Some varieties may provide health benefits. With so many uses and so many varieties, there is much that can be celebrated on National Vinegar Day.
How to Observe
Here are some ideas on how to spend the day:
- Make something to eat or drink that has vinegar.
- Pickle some vegetables.
- Make your own vinegar.
- Learn more about the different types of vinegar.
- Use vinegar around your home.