ArtsAutosBooksBusinessEducationEntertainmentFamilyFashionFoodGamesGenderHealthHolidaysHomeHubPagesPersonal FinancePetsPoliticsReligionSportsTechnologyTravel

The importance of acid and base ingredients

Updated on July 12, 2010

June 7 (Monday) Cooking Ingredients: Condiments or Vinegars or Oils & Shortenings

When we cook something we need either one or two of these food enhancers.

“Boy, bring me shortening.” the Greek cook will always order me when he forgot to bring his ingredients from the provision room located at the upper deck of the ship. At first I didn’t knew what it was; I thought it was butter, but when his order became a frequent routine everyday, I became accustomed to the name, every time he made biscuits for snacks.

Shortening is a made from the fats of the pig or what we call lard. It is very transparent when heated; it’s good in making biscuit, leaving a light taste to the tongue than when you use butter or vegetable oil. Just avoid being burn by the heated oil; I’ve been hit by it’s trickling particles from the frying pan. When we ran out of vegetable cooking oil, it becomes an alternative oil when frying chicken or fish.

Vinegar is an acetic acid that can be commercially or naturally made. The sap of coconut flower is a good source of natural vinegar. Coconut farmers in the Philippines, still make natural vinegar that are popular among the locals in the countryside. If you are traveling in the province, you can buy it bottled along the road. While in the cities, commercially-made vinegar is consist of 5 to 10 per cent acetic chemical and water that you can buy in either plastic pouch or bottle. You can make wine or balsam vinegar or apple cider, too.

Oil is basically used for frying and sautéing but it’s also important in salads, bread and pastry (cakes, etc.). In bread making, it is essential to add oil in order to make the dough more softer; same when making a cake. Olive oil is cholesterol free, so most salad lovers use it frequently. Greeks grow more olive trees and export its fruits and oil. My Greek friends boast that if you have two or three olive trees at home, you will be richer if you take care and harvest its fruits properly.

Basic condiments consist of salt and pepper. It’s a basic food taste enhancer, aside from vinegar and olive oil. Every dining table should have it . I remember my first captain said that our prepared dish should not be too salty. Because he’s Greek, he’s used to food with bland taste and the best thing to correct it is to use basic condiments, like salt and pepper.

I should say that these ‘essential’ ingredients should never be forgotten when you go to the market. What will happen to our dishes if we don’t have these? I doubt if will have quality bread, cakes, and the rest of  food dishes.

How To Make Red Wine Vinegar c/o makemagazine


    0 of 8192 characters used
    Post Comment

    • travel_man1971 profile imageAUTHOR

      Ireno Alcala 

      7 years ago from Bicol, Philippines

      You said it right and it helps to make the main ingredient soft, succulent to the taste and a lot more. If we only boil it with just water, the taste will always be bland.

    • thesailor profile image


      7 years ago from Seven Seas

      I must add that fats and acids make the main ingredient more tasteful as it enhances its flavors by the way we cook it.

    • travel_man1971 profile imageAUTHOR

      Ireno Alcala 

      8 years ago from Bicol, Philippines

      The preparation of dishes will never be the same if we didn't have these basic ingredients in the kitchen: oil, vinegar, salt and pepper.

    • thesailor profile image


      8 years ago from Seven Seas

      We need natural acids and oils, better known as vinegar, cooking oil, fats and butters, to regulate some minerals and vitamins in our body. Thanks, for this hub, travel man.


    This website uses cookies

    As a user in the EEA, your approval is needed on a few things. To provide a better website experience, uses cookies (and other similar technologies) and may collect, process, and share personal data. Please choose which areas of our service you consent to our doing so.

    For more information on managing or withdrawing consents and how we handle data, visit our Privacy Policy at:

    Show Details
    HubPages Device IDThis is used to identify particular browsers or devices when the access the service, and is used for security reasons.
    LoginThis is necessary to sign in to the HubPages Service.
    Google RecaptchaThis is used to prevent bots and spam. (Privacy Policy)
    AkismetThis is used to detect comment spam. (Privacy Policy)
    HubPages Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide data on traffic to our website, all personally identifyable data is anonymized. (Privacy Policy)
    HubPages Traffic PixelThis is used to collect data on traffic to articles and other pages on our site. Unless you are signed in to a HubPages account, all personally identifiable information is anonymized.
    Amazon Web ServicesThis is a cloud services platform that we used to host our service. (Privacy Policy)
    CloudflareThis is a cloud CDN service that we use to efficiently deliver files required for our service to operate such as javascript, cascading style sheets, images, and videos. (Privacy Policy)
    Google Hosted LibrariesJavascript software libraries such as jQuery are loaded at endpoints on the or domains, for performance and efficiency reasons. (Privacy Policy)
    Google Custom SearchThis is feature allows you to search the site. (Privacy Policy)
    Google MapsSome articles have Google Maps embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    Google ChartsThis is used to display charts and graphs on articles and the author center. (Privacy Policy)
    Google AdSense Host APIThis service allows you to sign up for or associate a Google AdSense account with HubPages, so that you can earn money from ads on your articles. No data is shared unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    Google YouTubeSome articles have YouTube videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    VimeoSome articles have Vimeo videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    PaypalThis is used for a registered author who enrolls in the HubPages Earnings program and requests to be paid via PayPal. No data is shared with Paypal unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    Facebook LoginYou can use this to streamline signing up for, or signing in to your Hubpages account. No data is shared with Facebook unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    MavenThis supports the Maven widget and search functionality. (Privacy Policy)
    Google AdSenseThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Google DoubleClickGoogle provides ad serving technology and runs an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Index ExchangeThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    SovrnThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Facebook AdsThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Amazon Unified Ad MarketplaceThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    AppNexusThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    OpenxThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Rubicon ProjectThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    TripleLiftThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Say MediaWe partner with Say Media to deliver ad campaigns on our sites. (Privacy Policy)
    Remarketing PixelsWe may use remarketing pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to advertise the HubPages Service to people that have visited our sites.
    Conversion Tracking PixelsWe may use conversion tracking pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to identify when an advertisement has successfully resulted in the desired action, such as signing up for the HubPages Service or publishing an article on the HubPages Service.
    Author Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide traffic data and reports to the authors of articles on the HubPages Service. (Privacy Policy)
    ComscoreComScore is a media measurement and analytics company providing marketing data and analytics to enterprises, media and advertising agencies, and publishers. Non-consent will result in ComScore only processing obfuscated personal data. (Privacy Policy)
    Amazon Tracking PixelSome articles display amazon products as part of the Amazon Affiliate program, this pixel provides traffic statistics for those products (Privacy Policy)