Vinegar has been a pantry staple since mankind first started the practice of fermentation. One of the most useful ingredients in the kitchen, a dash of vinegar can brighten up a dish and quickly refresh it with its tart flavor. Depending on the variety, this versatile condiment can add a whole host of diverse flavors to your foods including, sweet, buttery, savory, even malty tastes that add complexity and nuance to our dishes. At Gourmet Wholesaler, we’re proud to offer a wide range of vinegar options from classics like red and white wine vinegar to lesser-known selections like our craft beer and honey vinegar.
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Raw vs. Pasteurized
The process of pasteurization is commonplace in the modern world of food. Pasteurizing is simply the act of bringing foods up to a certain temperature to destroy the bacteria within them, good and bad. This practice ensures consistency in products and lessens the chance of bacteria that might cause food borne illnesses finding their way into products. Most vinegars on the market are pasteurized, neutralizing the bacterial culture in the vinegar commonly known as the mother. Though purported to be beneficial to your health, the mother takes the unappetizing form of a slimy glob of sediment at the bottom of your vinegar. Most consumers are averse to this slime, so the majority of vinegars made and available on the market are heat treated. Vinegars that are not pasteurized are generally labeled “raw.”
Does Vinegar Go Bad?
Because vinegar is highly acidic, it is naturally resistant to mold and spoilage, this applies to both raw vinegar and pasteurized varieties. Thanks to these characteristics, vinegar can be kept indefinitely in a cool dark environment in a sealed container. While raw vinegars will continue to develop more sediment during storage, this can easily be filtered out, or simply used along with the product. To slow the growth of sediment and to maintain color and flavor in wine-based vinegars, refrigerate your vinegar after opening to maintain its best quality.