Blueberry Vinegar

This is a great article written by Tessa Purdon over at Food24 that describes why we should all be doing more cooking and eating food with vinegar. For most people, blueberry vinegar is new and different. We need to experiment! When a recipe or your food experiment calls for any kind of vinegar, consider blueberry vinegar instead of one of the traditional vinegars. There is no question about the health benefits, let's experiment with the taste. If you are on Facebook, post the results of your experiment on the Santa Barbara Blueberries Facebook page.

 

- Ed
  Santa Barbara Blueberries

 




If you've strolled down the wellness/health aisle of any local supermarket, you are sure to have spotted the shelves packed with various brands of apple cider vinegar ('ACV' for those who use it as frequently as toothpaste.).

While the wellness and health movement have helped spur on the apple cider vinegar trend, vinegar itself has been used for centuries - not just as a food staple, but also for its healing and medicinal properties which is why vinegar is actually categorized as a 'functional food' - in the sense that it has health-giving properties. In fact, it's even been said that John Adams, the second president of the United States drank apple cider every morning for breakfast.

IT ALL CAME ABOUT BY ACCIDENT

Like almost all things culinary, the production of vinegar came about as a complete accident when someone a long long time ago forgot about some syrup that was extracted from a date palm, and it began to ferment. When fermentation takes place, bacteria and yeast from the air (over time) converts the alcohol into acetic acid which results in that sour, mouth-puckering and tangy taste.

Since then it's had a plethora of culinary uses like pickling fruits and vegetables, preserving meat (hello biltong!), as an addition to shortcrust pastry dough (it keeps the gluten strands from getting too long - resulting in a flaky, 'short' pastry). You can also include a drop of vinegar to egg whites when making meringue as it helps to prevent overbeating so you don't land up with lumpy whites or a total foamy collapse with no structure. And of course we can't overlook its most common use in domestic households - as an ingredient in salad dressings and marinades.

While commercial vinegar is generally made quickly with acetic acid and water (NOT OURS!!!), you want to get your hands on some that's been naturally fermented - red wine vinegar, white wine vinegar, rice vinegar, (blueberry vinegar) or aged balsamic vinegar.

Bottom line is that it adds a zippy brightness to a dish that resonates with our 'sour' taste receptors on the sides of our tongues, creating a wonderful balance of flavor when combined with something sweet, salty or bitter. Which is why the presence of acid in cooking is so important.. 

 

This article was written by Tessa Purdon and originally posted on www.food24.com Nov, 2017

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