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Vinegar - The Versatile Virtuoso

Updated on April 23, 2013

Something you probably haven't read

No doubt you have read extensively on the Internet just how versatile Vinegar is. Well, I am going to tell you something you probably haven’t read. Vinegar is fantastic for French Fries! No, forgive me; I was only joking – although it is fantastic for French Fries. What I am going to tell you is not what I have copied from the internet but what I personally use Vinegar for.


In my store cupboard I have more than one type of Vinegar. Here is a list of all the types I have:

  • Red Wine Vinegar
  • White Wine Vinegar
  • Distilled White Vinegar
  • Rice Wine Vinegar
  • Brown Malt Vinegar
  • Balsamic Vinegar
  • Raspberry Vinegar
  • Organic Apple Cider Vinegar


What is Vinegar?

Vin aigre is the archaic French phrase that the word vinegar is derived from. It literally means soured wine. You will know what I mean if you have ever encountered a bottle of wine which has ‘gone off’. Basically sour wine is what vinegar is – but only if it is made from grapes originally that is. Bog standard red wine vinegar, *Balsamic Vinegar, Chardonnay vinegar, simple white wine vinegar, Merlot vinegar, Champagne Vinegar are all vinegars made from the grape. It is made either accidently or by design from the secondary fermentation with acetic acid bacteria.

*Balsamic Vinegar isn’t made from fermented grapes but from fresh grape juice in a reduction process. It is then aged for a minimum of 12 years.


Vinegars that are not made from Grapes

  • Rice Wine Vinegar
  • Cider Vinegar
  • Raspberry Vinegar
  • Malt Vinegar
  • Distilled White Vinegar.


What do I use my Vinegars for?

Red Wine Vinegar – 5 Uses

  1. I use this in salad dressing instead of mayonnaise because it is low fat and can help to control cholesterol.
  2. It is also low in potassium which can help with high blood pressure
  3. Fermented foods are reputed to be good for diabetics and useful for lowering blood glucose
  4. Marinade for meat
  5. In tomato based pasta sauces

White Wine Vinegar – 3 Uses

  1. To sprinkle on strawberries, watermelon or pears to really bring out the flavours
  2. In Hollandaise Sauce – I reduce the butter by half and replace with vinegar
  3. I read that white wine vinegar has anti tumour properties so as a cancer survivor I now use it a lot in cooking


Distilled White Vinegar – 10 Uses

  1. I water my acid loving hydrangea and azalea with white vinegar diluted in water - 1 cup full to a gallon
  2. I stand a bowl of white vinegar on my worktop when cooking fish or garlicky food. It neutralises the odours
  3. De-scale the kettle by soaking overnight. Almost fill kettle with water and add a cup of white vinegar
  4. In winter I wipe over my shoes that have become stained with salt deposits with white vinegar
  5. Getting rid of lingering perspiration odours from underarms of shirts
  6. In summer I keep a spray bottle of white vinegar in the fridge and use it to soothe sunburn
  7. Keep my teeth white by brushing them once a week with white vinegar
  8. I clean the car windscreen and interior windows with a solution of vinegar and water
  9. I polish my chrome bathroom taps and other chrome items with a few drop of white vinegar
  10. Get rid of vomit odours on carpets and upholstery. Always test in an inconspicuous place.

Sweet and Sour Pork
Sweet and Sour Pork | Source

Rice Wine Vinegar – 3 Uses

  • I use this in Chinese and Japanese recipes. Its great in Sweet and Sour Sauce. I also use it in place of lemon juice on fish, pork and chicken
  • Rice wine vinegar is reputed to slow down the ageing process so obviously I use this often in recipes
  • It is also rich in amino acids so promotes general good health by fighting free radicals


Malt Vinegar – 7 Uses

It can only be this type of vinegar for use on Fish and Chips. I have tried posh wine vinegar but it doesn’t do it for me

Again I would never use any other kind of vinegar to make mint sauce

I pour neat malt vinegar on weeds in the garden and it kills them

A splash of either this or white vinegar in water to clean the windows

I use it for pickling onions with the addition of a few spices. I prefer the brown colour

I have a washing up brush that the handle fills with washing up liquid; I put a mix of vinegar and liquid in it and it lasts ages and keeps it smelling fresh too.

I use a small amount of vinegar in water to rinse my granddaughters chestnut coloured hair after washing. It keeps it really shiny

Wensleydale Cheese
Wensleydale Cheese | Source

Balsamic Vinegar – 6 Uses

  1. I have never used this for anything other than cooking. I mix with olive oil and dip crusty bread in it
  2. I use this in marinades and salad dressings
  3. I sprinkle roasted vegetables with balsamic vinegar and olive oil before roasting
  4. Tomatoes sprinkles with basil leaves and balsamic are delicious
  5. Balsamic vinegar brings out the flavour of strawberries. I found this out when I ran out of white wine vinegar
  6. I discovered that a nice creamy Wensleydale or Cheshire Cheese is gorgeous drizzled with balsamic

Roast Beef Dinner
Roast Beef Dinner | Source

Raspberry Vinegar – 4 Uses

  1. One of my granny’s remedies for a sore throat: Raspberry Vinegar with hot water and honey to taste. Gargle and drink it.
  2. I put a splash in Roast Beef Gravy and it is surprisingly good
  3. I often boil my own beetroot and sprinkle it with raspberry vinegar for an unusual taste
  4. Also good as a salad dressing


Organic Apple Cider Vinegar - 5 Uses

  1. I have acid reflux due to too little stomach acid and take this to ease it. It really works when I take a tablespoonful in a glass of water first thing in a morning and sometimes at night if the reflux is bad
  2. I’m diabetic so the added effect is that this keeps my blood sugar slightly lower
  3. It seems to control my appetite and I don’t feel quite as hungry as before I started using it
  4. I’ve had a persistent whitehead at the side of my nose that kept coming back. I began dabbing it with diluted cider vinegar. It went in a week
  5. Not me; but I have a friend who cleans her toilet with Cider Vinegar. It always smells appley and fresh in her bathroom

So that’s my take on the virtues of vinegar. I hope you enjoyed it and found it slightly different from the hundreds of other articles on the net.

© Susan Bailey 2013 All Rights Reserved


Have you used Vinegar for Cleaning? What did you think?

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