Made from the cider of fermented apple juice, cider vinegar adds a refreshingly tart flavor to dressings, dips, meat marinades and stews.
See also vinegar.
Also known as apple cider vinegar, this acidic liquid is made from the cider of fermented apple juice. It has a pale golden color and a tart, fruity flavor that makes it a suitable dipping or topping condiment or ingredient in salad dressings, marinades, pickles, chutneys and stews. It is the most popular vinegar used for cooking in the United States.
Ancient civilizations as far back as the Sumerians used vinegar as a condiment, preservative, medicine and detergent, much as we do today. The Babylonians made and sold vinegars flavored with malt and fruit almost five thousand years ago. Around 400 B.C., the great Hippocrates was said to have prescribed a mixture of cider vinegar and honey to cure coughs and colds. Vinegar is also mentioned as a food flavoring, energizing drink and medicine in the old and new testaments of the Bible.
Look for cider vinegar labeled "raw," which means it's unfiltered and unpasteurized. It will be slightly cloudier than the filtered variety, but it will carry a fruiter apple flavor.
Cider vinegar is self-preserving and does not require refrigeration. Store in an airtight container in a cool, dark place. Unopened, it will keep indefinitely. Once opened, it will keep about six months.
Cider vinegar has a tart, tangy flavor making it delicious in vinaigrettes, especially for tossed salads with fruits or hard cheeses. It's also a great tenderizer for meats, as it works to break down protein fibers. Add to braising liquids, deglaze a pan for pork chops or mix with herbs for a simple marinade.
Cider vinegar is also particularly useful when preparing potatoes. Adding one teaspoon to your boiling cooking water will keep them nice and white. Prevent peeled potatoes from darkening by covering with water mixed with two teaspoons of vinegar. A splash or spray will also brighten the flavor of your favorite cooked French fries.
Note: When using vinegar, choose pots and utensils made of non-reactive materials like stainless steel, glass, enamel, plastic or wood.
Cider vinegar is interchangeable with malt or white vinegars in most recipes.