How many types of VINEGAR do YOU have at your house?

how many kinds of vinegar can one person have in their house?
Apple Cider Vinegar – check
White Vinegar – check
Tarragon Vinegar – check
Raspberry Vinegar – Check …

Balsamic Vinegar – check
Fig Balsamic Vinegar – check
Malt Vinegar? — Shit — where is it? NOPE, not here, not anywhere — oh well, it’s a good reason to get out and walk to the store to buy some, I guess…. I don’t think my plum / apple chutney will taste the same without it.. darn!!

So then, that got me to thinking….. how many types of vinegar are there? turns out there’s lots and lots!  Here’s some info I got from the Internet at :

Types of Vinegar

You might be surprised to learn that there are dozens of types of vinegar. The most common vinegars found in American kitchens are white distilled and apple cider, but the more adventurous may also use red wine vinegar; white wine vinegar; rice vinegar; or gourmet varieties, such as 25-year-old balsamic vinegar or rich black fig vinegar.
Vinegar can be made from just about any food that contains natural sugars. Yeast ferments these sugars into alcohol, and certain types of bacteria convert that alcohol a second time into vinegar. A weak acetic acid remains after this second fermentation; the acid has flavors reminiscent of the original fermented food, such as apples or grapes. Acetic acid is what gives vinegar its distinct tart taste.
Pure acetic acid can be made in a laboratory; when diluted with water, it is sometimes sold as white vinegar. However, acetic acids created in labs lack the subtle flavors found in true vinegars, and synthesized versions don’t hold a candle to vinegars fermented naturally from summer’s sugar-laden fruits or other foods.
Vinegars can be made from many different foods that add their own tastes to the final products, but additional ingredients, such as herbs, spices, or fruits, can be added for further flavor enhancement.
Vinegar Varieties
Vinegar is great for a healthy, light style of cooking. The tangy taste often reduces the need for salt, especially in soups and bean dishes. It can also cut the fat in a recipe because it balances flavors without requiring the addition of as much cream, butter, or oil. Vinegar flavors range from mild to bold, so you’re sure to find one with the taste you want. A brief look at some of the various vinegars available may help you choose a new one for your culinary escapades.
White Vinegar
This clear variety is the most common type of vinegar in American households. It is made either from grain-based ethanol or laboratory-produced acetic acid and then diluted with water. Its flavor is a bit too harsh for most cooking uses, but it is good for pickling and performing many cleaning jobs around the house.
Apple Cider Vinegar
Apple cider vinegar is the second-most-common type of vinegar in the United States. This light-tan vinegar made from apple cider adds a tart and subtle fruity flavor to your cooking. Apple cider vinegar is best for salads, dressings, marinades, condiments, and most general vinegar needs.
Wine Vinegar
This flavorful type of vinegar is made from a blend of either red wines or white wines and is common in Europe, especially Germany. Creative cooks often infuse wine vinegars with extra flavor by tucking in a few sprigs of well-washed fresh herbs, dried herbs, or fresh berries. Red wine vinegar is often flavored with natural raspberry flavoring, if not with the fruit itself.
The quality of the original wine determines how good the vinegar is. Better wine vinegars are made from good wines and are aged for a couple of years or more in wooden casks. The result is a fuller, more complex, and mellow flavor. You might find sherry vinegar on the shelf next to the wine vinegars. This variety is made from sherry wine, and usually is im
ported from Spain. Champagne vinegar (yes, made from the bubbly stuff) is a specialty vinegar and is quite expensive.
Wine vinegar excels at bringing out the sweetness of fruit, melon, and berries and adds a flavorful punch to fresh salsa.
Balsamic Vinegar
There are two types of this popular and flavorful vinegar, traditional and commercial. A quasigovernmental body in Modena, Italy (balsamic vinegar’s birthplace), regulates the production of traditional balsamic vinegar.
Traditional balsamic. Traditional balsamic vinegars are artisanal foods, similar to great wines, with long histories and well-developed customs for their production. An excellent balsamic vinegar can be made only by an experienced crafter who has spent many years tending the vinegar, patiently watching and learning.
The luscious white and sugary trebbiano grapes that are grown in the northern region of Italy near Modena form the base of the world’s best and only true balsamic vinegars. Customdictates that the grapes be left on the vine for as long as possible to develop their sugar. The juice (or “must”) is pressed out of the grapes and boiled down; then, vinegar production begins.
Traditional balsamic vinegar is aged for a number of years — typically 6 and as many as 25. Aging takes place in a succession of casks made from a variety of woods, such as chestnut, mulberry, oak, juniper, and cherry. Each producer has its own formula for the order in which the vinegar is moved to the different casks. Thus, the flavors are complex, rich, sweet, and subtly woody. Vinegar made in this way carries a seal from the Consortium of Producers of the Traditional Balsamic Vinegar of Modena.
Because of the arduous production process, only a limited amount of traditional balsamic vinegar makes it to market each year, and what is available is expensive.
Leaf ratings. You might see that some traditional balsamic vinegars have leaves on their labels. This is a rating system that ranks quality on a one- to four-leaf scale, with four leaves being the best. You can use the leaf ranking as a guide for how to use the vinegar. For instance, one-leaf balsamic vinegar would be appropriate for salad dressing, while four-leaf vinegar would be best used a few drops at a time to season a dish right before serving. The Assaggiatori Italiani Balsamico (Italian Balsamic Tasters’ Association) established this grading system, but not all producers use it.
Commercial balsamic. What you’re more likely to find in most American grocery stores is the commercial type of balsamic vinegar. Some is made in Modena, but not by traditional methods. In fact, some balsamic vinegar isn’t even made in Italy. Commercial balsamic vinegar does not carry the Consortium of Producers of the Traditional Balsamic Vinegar of Modena seal because it is not produced in accordance with the Consortium’s strict regulations.
The production of commercial balsamic vinegar carries no geographical restrictions or rules for length or method of aging. There are no requirements for the types of wood used in the aging casks. It may be aged for six months in stainless steel vats, then for two years or more in wood. Thus, commercial balsamic vinegar is much more affordable and available than the true, artisanal variety.
Whether you’re lucky enough to get your hands on the traditional variety or you’re using commercial-grade balsamic, the taste of this fine vinegar is like no other. Its sweet and sour notes are in perfect proportion. Balsamic’s flavor is so intricate that it brings out the best in salty foods such as goat cheese, astringent foods such as spinach, and sweet foods such as strawberries.
Rice Vinegar
Clear or very pale yellow, rice vinegar originated in Japan, where it is essential to sushi preparation. Rice vinegar is made from the sugars found in rice, and the aged, filtered final product has a mild, clean, and delicate flavor that is an excellent complement to ginger or cloves, sometimes with the addition of sugar.
Rice vinegar also comes in red and black varieties, which are less common in the United States but very popular in China. Both are stronger than the clear (often called white) or pale yellow types. Red rice vinegar’s flavor is a combination of sweet and tart. Black rice vinegar is common in southern Chinese cooking and has a strong, almost smoky flavor.
Rice vinegar is popular in Asian cooking and is great sprinkled on salads and stir-fry dishes. Its gentle flavor is perfect for fruits and tender vegetables, too. Many cooks choose white rice vinegar for their recipes because it does not change the color of the food to which it is added. Red rice vinegar is good for soups and noodle dishes, and black rice vinegar works as a dipping sauce and in braised dishes.
Malt Vinegar
This dark-brown vinegar, a favorite in Britain, is reminiscent of deep-brown ale. Malt vinegar production begins with the germination, or sprouting, of barley kernels. Germination enables enzymes to break down starch. Sugar is formed, and the resulting product is brewed into an alcohol-containing malt beverage or ale. After bacteria convert the ale to vinegar, the vinegar is aged. As its name implies, malt vinegar has a distinctive malt flavor.
A cheaper and less flavorful version of malt vinegar consists merely of acetic acid diluted to between 4 percent and 8 percent acidity with a little caramel coloring added.
Many people prefer malt vinegar for pickling and as an accompaniment to fish and chips. It is also used as the basic type of cooking vinegar in Britain.
Cane Vinegar
This type of vinegar is produced from the sugar cane and is used mainly in the Philippines. It is often light yellow and has a flavor similar to rice vinegar. Contrary to what you might think, cane vinegar is not any sweeter than other vinegars.
Beer Vinegar
Beer vinegar has an appealing light-golden color and, as you might guess, is popular in Germany, Austria, Bavaria, and the Netherlands. It is made from beer, and its flavor depends on the brew from which it was made. It has a sharp, malty taste.

Vinegar is a versatile condiment with many uses. ©2006 Publications International, Ltd. Coconut vinegar is popular in Southeast Asian cooking, and adds a yeasty flavor.

Coconut Vinegar
If you can’t get your Asian recipes to taste “just right,” it might be because you don’t have coconut vinegar — a white vinegar with a sharp, acidic, slightly yeasty taste. This staple of Southeast Asian cooking is made from the sap of the coconut palm and is especially important to Thai and Indian dishes.
Raisin Vinegar
This slightly cloudy brown vinegar is traditionally produced in Turkey and used in Middle Eastern cuisines. Try infusing it with a little cinnamon to bolster its mild flavor. Salad dressings made with raisin vinegar will add an unconventional taste to your greens.
Now that you’ve got the idea of the wide variety of vinegar flavors available, perhaps

Canada vs USA – cool differences, and that doesn’t just mean the weather!!

 I’m adding stuff as I go along:

March 14 – 2012 

Cool Difference #7 


Most of our mail in Canada is delivered right to our door where we probably have a mail slot or a small metal mail box attached to the wall of our entrance to our house.  There are still some people with mailboxes and alot of subdivisions now have the “Super Mail box”, which is on the side of the road and you stop by it on your way home, open your padlock, get out your mail, and away you go.

But here in Bullhead City, all the mailboxes in the subdivisions we have walked thru have a mailbox at the side of their driveway.  There are some really cool mailboxes!  Your traditional mail box shape on a post, but we’ve discovered mailboxes inserted into cement walls or decorative posts.  Mailboxes that are all different colors, shapes, sizes and with different decorations.  It makes for a very interesting walk down the street.  I am tempted to take my camera and photograph all the different ones, but don’t want to intrude on peoples privacy and property.  But they are fun to see!  Here’s a couple of pictures that I’ve copied from the internet to show you what we’ve seen.










Cool Difference #6 

We’ve all heard the expression: cool as a cucumber! 

Well It turns out that cool difference #6 is indeed cucumbers!!  I eat a lot of Long English Cucumbers! 


  I didn’t realize this, but Long English Cucumbers seem to be really popular in BC! The internet calls it “the lazy man’s cucumber”, because you don’t have to peel it or core it to eat it.  Mmnnn — I thought I liked them cause they taste better and are crunchy and sweet! 

We’ve been to all 3 grocery stores here in Bullhead City, and we have managed to find them, but you have to look,look way high up,’cause they are hard to find, and there’s not many to choose from.

When we walk into any grocery store in Canada, the LongECuc’s are everywhere!  They’re laid out in displays at the front of the store, and in the vegetable isles, and, in the organic section, they are everywhere!If you want to find a regular cucumber, then the hunt begins! 

 They are usually somewhere near the zuchinni and then you look at them,

look at the zuchinni,

look at the cucumber,

yes, that’s a cucumber, yes, that’s the zuchinni.Cool!



Bat Cave Lego

March 2012

Cool Difference #1

We are spending this month in the States.  We get to escape the wet, grey Vancouver Island weather for the month!  We leave in a howling south easter that included some snow flurries and beat our way over the border.  Our first stop is in Portland, OR to see the kids.  We have one excited little grandson who knows that Grandpa is taking him shopping at “The Lego Store” and he can pick out anything he wants for a birthday present.  We drive to a mall, the excited child dashes into the mall and makes his way directly to The Lego Store!!

We look at each other – ‘There’s a Lego Store?’

‘Really? – a store operated by Lego, contains only Lego?, Really?’

That is so cool!!  They also had A Disney Store!!  Do we have a store like that in Canada? Now, I know we don’t live in a huge place or anything, but do we?

Cool Difference #2


We were reminded that it is really difficult to buy Coffee Crisp and Peppermint Aero chocolate bars while in the States.  You can rarely find them!  But what you can find everywhere and easily is BOOZE!  They have a pharmacy chain of stores down here called CVS Pharmacy and Liquor!  I’m serious – AND Liquor.  That’s what their signs say.  It’s in all the grocery stores, gas stations, corner stores, – it’s everywhere!  AND CHEAP – 6 Millers for $6 and that’s at Chevron – it’s probably cheaper if we shopped around.  A 26’r of Meyers Rum for $18 at Wal-Mart that costs at least $40 in Canada.  We haven’t even tried the Liquor Stores yet.  We’re scared to go in there – we might spend our whole budget in a giddy shopping spree!


Cool Difference #3

Vinegar!  You can buy it in all the grocery stores, but it’s not available at any restuarant if you ask for some for your fries.  If you do that or ask for brown toast, the waiter or waitress will ask you what part of Canada are you from?

Cool Difference #4

Bacon comes in these cool ziploc packages.  You don’t even need a knife to break into it.  Just ZIP, pull the edges apart and Voila!  Bacon ready to go.  Pull out a few slices, ZIP it back together and back in the fridge it goes. No rewrapping, repackaging, just ZIP!!


Cool Difference #5

A $.99 cent bottle of lotion called “Spider Cider”.  The label says it’s made with real spiders, but I don’t see ‘the spider parts’ listed anywhere in the ingredients!!.  🙂   It’s very citrusy, goes on smoothly, not greasy and should be kept out of the reach of young adults, just in case they confuse it with drinking cider!!

Stay tuned – I’m sure I’ll add more stuff as I go along…