The world of vine­gar is tart and sub­tle. From ap­ple cider vine­gar, touted for its health ef­fects, to bal­samic vine­gar, which ages like fine wine, there are a plethora of vine­gars and al­most as many dif­fer­ent uses for this ver­sa­tile in­gre­di­ent, in­clud­ing c

Crave - - TABLE OF CONTETS - Words Jeremy Chan and Clau­dia Shum Pho­tos Sa­man­tha Sin Spe­cial thanks City’su­per

Ev­ery­thing you need to know about vine­gar: which to use, when to use it, and what to use it with

1. White Wine Vine­gar

Made with white wine in­stead of red us­ing acetic fer­men­ta­tion, this del­i­cate vine­gar is per­fect for dress­ing light salads and as an ad­di­tive to cer­tain condi­ments. Del­i­cately sour with fruity un­der­tones, white wine vine­gar is used in may­on­naise and for deglaz­ing pans when mak­ing cream sauces for steak, pork fil­let and veal cut­lets.

2. Red Wine Vine­gar

As its name im­plies, red wine vine­gar is made from red wine. Yeast turns the sug­ars to al­co­hol, then spe­cially brewed bac­te­ria turns the al­co­hol into acetic acid in a process called acetic fer­men­ta­tion. Pack­ing a ro­bust, fruity flavour, the vine­gar can be used in most culi­nary ap­pli­ca­tions, in­clud­ing meat stews, casseroles and vinai­grettes with a fruity punch.

3. Malt Vine­gar

Malty grain vine­gar is pro­duced from malt­based al­co­hol, aged in a bar­rel or an ac­eta­tor. The re­sult is strong, sour vine­gar with a hint of caramel. This light brown vine­gar is of­ten served with fish and chips, beets and other veg­eta­bles, and can be used for pick­ling and in chut­neys, stews and sauces.

4. Ap­ple Cider Vine­gar

Made from the acetic fer­men­ta­tion of ap­ple juice, this vine­gar tastes strongly of ap­ples. Fresh and fra­grant, it can be used as an al­ter­na­tive to wine vine­gar or fresh lemon juice. Ap­ple cider vine­gar is also suited for use in salads and sauces.

5. Co­conut Vine­gar

Touted as a health food, co­conut vine­gar is made from fer­mented co­conut water or sap. It has a low acid­ity and is en­tic­ingly sweet com­pared with other vine­gars. Pop­u­lar in South Asian cuisines, the vine­gar is best used in dip­ping sauces and mari­nades. Its sweet­ness is sim­i­lar to ap­ple cider vine­gar’s and it can be used as an al­ter­na­tive.

6. Bal­samic Vine­gar

Dark al­most syrup-like bal­samic vine­gar is fa­mous for the depth and com­plex­ity of its flavour, at­trib­uted to its rig­or­ous age­ing process. Marked with a DOP sta­tus, bal­samic vine­gar is pro­duced only in Reg­gio Emilia and Mo­dena, Italy. Grapes are re­duced and aged for 12 years in bar­rels made from dif­fer­ent types of wood, which im­part depth and com­plex­ity into the vine­gar. Sweet and syrupy, it’s best used to add depth to savoury dishes or driz­zled over aged Parme­san cheese, ice cream and fruit desserts.

7. Ja­panese Brown Rice vine­gar

Known to some as Kyushu’s liq­uid trea­sure, this nu­tri­tious vine­gar is com­monly used as a medic­i­nal tonic. Slowly ma­tured us­ing tra­di­tional cen­tury-old meth­ods of fer­men­ta­tion, this rare vine­gar is made from 100 per cent brown rice, brewed into sake be­fore be­ing fer­mented in earth­ern­ware crocks un­der­ground, re­sult­ing in a full­bod­ied yet gen­tle flavour. It can also be used in dress­ings, tsuke­mono (pick­les) and mari­nades for a gen­tle con­trast of flavours.

8. Black Rice Vine­gar

Par­tic­u­larly pop­u­lar in Main­land China, this vine­gar is made from black gluti­nous rice and grains such as wheat and mil­let. It has a deep colour and a smoky flavour, which pairs per­fectly with stir-fries, dip­ping sauces or as a condi­ment.

9. Sake Red Vine­gar

Pressed from fer­mented sake lees pro­duced dur­ing the sake brew­ing process, sake red vine­gar or akazu gets its char­ac­ter­is­tic colour from a re­ac­tion be­tween yeast and kôji, the fer­men­ta­tion cul­ture in many Ja­panese sea­son­ings and sauces. Favoured by sushi mas­ters for its deep umami taste, this aged vine­gar is typ­i­cally used in its purest form, bring­ing a nat­u­rally bal­anced yet dis­tinc­tive flavour to rice.

10. Red Rice Vine­gar

Made from red yeast rice, a type of fer­mented rice, this vine­gar has a dis­tinc­tive red colour caused by the mould that also in­flu­ences its flavour, which is at once sweet and tart. This com­bi­na­tion of sweet­ness and tart­ness works well with seafood dishes and as a dip­ping sauce.

11. White Rice Vine­gar

Less acidic than dis­tilled vine­gar, this rice vine­gar varies in colour from clear to pale yel­low. Ja­panese va­ri­eties tend to be more del­i­cate with one ver­sion, sea­soned with sugar or MSG, used to make sushi rice. Chi­nese va­ri­eties have a sharper flavour.

From left: Spi­ral food or­ganic white wine vine­gar $49/250ml and Eden red wine vine­gar $20/473ml, both from City’su­per

From left: As­pall golden malt vine­gar $17/250ml and Bragg or­ganic raw un­fil­tered ap­ple cider vine­gar $39/473 ml, both from City’su­per

From left: Fat­to­rie Gi­a­cobazzi or­ganic bal­samic vine­gar of Mo­dena $57/250ml, Mizkan pure brown rice vine­gar $56/500ml and Pat Chun black rice vine­gar sauce $27/600ml, all from City’su­per

From left: Yokoi Jozo $32/150ml, Pat Chun red vine­gar $23/300ml and Yuan’s rice vine­gar $32/200ml, all from City’su­per

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