September 02, 2010

Versatile award or all you wanted to know (and probably more!) about...vinegar

A couple of days ago I was give the Versatile Blogger Award from Koci of La Kocinera. This is my third (omg! Third!) Versatile Blogger Award and I really really really want to thank you all cool bloggers for giving me the award and for reading my little unpretentious blog!

After saying “thank you” to the blogger that passed the award on me, I’m supposed to say 7 random things about myself. However, I have already done that and I don’t want to challenge your patience with 7 more things. I would risk of losing you all J Many things about myself come out from my posts and in addition I will be participating to the Project Food Blog so you will already read more about myself with the first challenge (btw…get some fingers-exercise so that you will be in great shape to click on “vote for CaffeIna” when the time will arrive!)

So, instead of talking about myself I would like to tell you seven random things about a guy that versatile is for sure: vinegar. What the heck?! You might be thinking. What’s going on in Sara’s mind to decide to talk about vinegar. Well, you have to know that the past week has been a week of little accidents in my house (chill out….I said little….nothing bad…don’t rush to buy a flight ticket to Oakland to check on me! Although I would be very happy if you did!). First off, my girl kittie, Zoe, decided to pee in the basket of the dirty clothes…needless to say it was so stinky that even after washing the clothes three time I couldn’t dare saying “mission accomplished!”. Second off, I slipped in the shower (auch!). Thank God, I stopped on time but I still hit my back on the edge of the window (double auch!). Last but not least, I totally crashed my pinky toe against the wood part of a door (triple auch!). It hurt soooo badly, even with the ice on it. The day after my right pinky was double size and purple. Lucky me, I don’t need pinky toes to bake and it was a great excuse to cheer myself up with cookies J

But again…what does this have to do with vinegar?! Well, my wise mom suggested me a use for white vinegar for all the above mentioned situations. So when I got the Versatile Award I thought :”he is the real versatile one!” Vinegar deserves this award too. Mr Vinegar kindly accepted and now he is going to tell you 7 random things about himself [There are many more interesting things you should know about Mr Vinegar but you can easily find the rest yourself on Wikipedia and other sites).


1. The French…ahhh, the French….they really got me! They call me vin aigre, which means sour wine. And that’s exactly how I was discovered. Somebody noticed that a cask of wine gone past its time had turned to a wonderful new product. Through the centuries I have been produced from many other materials, including molasses, dates, sorghum, fruits, berries, melons, coconut, honey, beer, maple syrup, potatoes, beets, malt, grains and whey. But the principle remains the same: fermentation of natural sugars to alcohol and then secondary fermentation to vinegar.

2. The ancients were the first ones in giving me the Versatility Award! Around 5,000 BC, the Babylonians used it as a preservative and as a condiment, and it was they who began flavoring it with herbs and spices. Roman legionnaires used it as a beverage. Cleopatra demonstrated its solvent property by dissolving precious pearls in it to win a wager that she could consume a fortune in a single meal. Hippocrates extolled its medicinal qualities and, indeed, it was probably one of our earliest remedies. The Greeks also reportedly made pickled vegetables or meats using vinegar. Biblical references show how it was much used for its soothing and healing properties. And when Hannibal, a great general, crossed the Alps with an army riding elephants, it was vinegar that helped pave the way. Obstructive boulders were heated and doused with vinegar, which cracked and crumbled the barriers. By about 3000 BC, the making of homemade vinegar was being phased out and, in 2000 BC, vinegar production was largely a commercial industry. During the American Civil War, vinegar was used to treat scurvy, and as recently as World War I, it was being used to treat wounds. [Source: The Vinegar Institute] This is where CaffeIna’s  mom comes in…when she hurt back and pinky toe she suggested her to cover the ice with a some cotton fabric wet with white vinegar!

3. The United States Food and Drug Administration (FDA) requires that any product called “vinegar” contain at least 4% acidity. This requirement ensures the minimum strength of the vinegar sold at the retail level.

4. Many of you probably already know that I’m good at household chores but you might not know (CaffeIna didn’t) that I am good also with animals. That’s why CaffeIna’s mom suggested her to wash the stinky clothes with water and myself! I can even be used to wash doggies….but I’m not really sure they like me L

5. Americans (big bumper stickers’ lovers!) should also know that I have a nice trick to remove bumper stickers. Just wipe the sticker with white distilled vinegar until it is soaked.  In a few minutes, it should peel off easily.  Test on a small invisible area of the car to ensure there will be no damage to the paint.

6. I’m a multitasker in the kitchen! I bring out the sweetness in strawberries and melons, as well as I add a twist to spicy salsas and marinades and wake up the flavor of sauces and glazes. I’m also aware of health issues and I can help you cook lighter dishes. For example, replace heavy cream or butter with a splash of white vinegar to balance flavors without adding fat. The tangy taste also reduces the need for salt.

7. In particular, baking is of course one of my favorite activities. I like doing a lot of things, for example, cake icing. Cake icing can be prevented from becoming sugary if a little vinegar is added to the ingredients before cooking. The same is true when making homemade candy.

You can check for many other uses (in the kitchen or not) here

Well, thanks again CaffeIna for the Versatile Ingredient Award and I wish you all a sweet….oooops… an acid (in the my way) day.


  1. Congrats on your award! :D

    Wow, I never knew all that about vinegar! Especially all the ways it has been used throughout history--crazy!

  2. Congrats! Good look on Project Food Blog. And we'd all totally love to hear 7 things about you!

  3. I could not live with out vinegar. Cooking, preserving and cleaning vinegar does it all.

  4. I Use vinegar for cleaning - old fashioned, but good.

  5. Congrats on your award! When we bought a foreclosed house last winter my mom suggested that we clean the walls with vinegar and water. It worked really well! PS, hope the rest of your week is accident free. And I love the scones you made earlier in the week!


Note: Only a member of this blog may post a comment.