Vinegar common name for a sour liquid that
is made by the fermentation of any of numerous dilute alcoholic
liquids into a liquid containing acetic acid.
Vinegar can be made from any liquid that is capable of being
converted into alcohol in a two-step process. The fruit juice or
other liquid contains sugar, which is converted into alcohol and
carbon dioxide gas by the actions of yeast enzymes. The alcohol
formed combines with atmospheric oxygen by the action of
Acetobacter bacteria, forming acetic acid and water. Organic
acids and esters derived from the fruit or other source material
are also present and are responsible for the flavor and aroma
variations of vinegar.
Vinegar's principal uses are the flavoring of foods and the
preservation, or pickling, of meat products, fish, fruit, and
vegetables. For use as a condiment, vinegar is often flavored
with garlic, onions, or other herbs and spices. Mixed with oil
and seasonings it becomes a fantastic salad dressing.