There are many reasons to have a variety of vinegars in your pantry. Adding just a small amount of vinegar can brighten up many of your favorite recipes. It isn’t necessary to buy five, six or even 10 vinegars at once. Add a different style or flavor to your grocery budget occasionally.
Right now, I have seven different vinegars in my pantry. While I don’t use vinegar for every meal, each of the vinegars in my pantry offers a little something different and can be used for more than one dish. Experimenting with vinegar flavors can slightly alter the taste of your favorite vinaigrette making a completely new salad dressing. Vinegar added to a homemade marinade can help tenderize a tough cut of meat.
Vinegar should be stored away from direct heat and light and used within three to six months of opening.
Red Wine Vinegar
Red wine vinegar rules in our kitchen and definitely gets the most use. We prefer a chianti vinegar which is a little more smooth than the store brand that doesn’t specify the type of wine that was fermented.
We add a few splashes of red wine vinegar to practically any dish that includes tomato or beef: chili, spaghetti or stroganoff. I use red wine vinegar to deglaze the pan when sautéing onions and garlic for pizza sauce and have drizzled a little over top of potatoes that I am foil-grilling.
I will admit to overusing balsamic vinegar in the past: I used it for everything. Now, a little goes a long way. Spend a little extra money for an aged balsamic offering a smooth, mild flavor. You will notice a difference in the taste, especially when you drizzle a little over a caprese salad or a rib eye ready for the grill.
I primarily use tarragon vinegar in a wide variety of salad dressings. The mild taste enhances the flavors of the other herbs I select for the dressing and will not overpower delicate baby greens. Tarragon vinegar will also brighten up a Béarnaise Sauce without tainting the flavor.
We do cook a lot of Asian cuisine in our kitchen, but I’ve found myself turning to rice vinegar for salad dressings and to brighten up fish dishes. It has a bit of sweetness to it and is also known as rice wine vinegar.
Apple Cider Vinegar
I add apple cider vinegar to my coleslaw and also use it to make sour milk for recipes when I don’t have buttermilk on hand.
To make one cup of sour milk, pour one tablespoon vinegar into a glass measuring cup and then add enough milk to make one cup. Allow to stand for at least five minutes before adding to the recipe ingredients.
I also have malt vinegar in my pantry that I use for homemade fish and chips and of course, white vinegar. While I do use white vinegar for pickling, I usually clean my windows with it.
Source: Cook’s Thesaurus