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What Your Go-To Vinegar Says About You

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Don’t sleep on vinegar. The tangy, biting kitchen staple deserves all your love. In her book, Salt, Fat, Acid, Heat, Samin Nosrat proves just how vital something like vinegar is in cooking:

“Foods that are the most enjoyable to eat cause our mouths to water—that is, to produce saliva. Of the five basic tastes, acid makes our mouths water the most… Acid, then, is an integral part of many of our most pleasurable eating experiences.”

See that? Acid, and thus vinegar, is literally necessary for food to taste good! Okay, Nosrat doesn’t go that far, but you get the point. Vinegar = friend. If we can all agree on that, then another quandary arises: Which vinegar do I use? There’s white and balsamic, red wine and rice wine, and don’t forget, please don’t forget, vinegar of the apple cider variety. There’s a slew, a bunch, a buffet of choices. Every recipe calls for a vinegar all its own, every cook has their preferences. What does your vinegar of choice say about you? Consider this your acidic horoscope:

Balsamic

Ah, the sultriest of the bunch. You, my friend, are unctuous and sweet and slightly fruity. You’re hard to see through and extremely versatile: You pair well with some of the sweetest, but let’s not forget your darker side as well.

Bloody Good Steak
Bloody Good Steak
Fig and Blue Cheese Tart with Honey, Balsamic, and Rosemary

Fig and Blue Cheese Tart with Honey, Balsamic, and Rosemary by Phyllis Grant

Balsamic-Roasted Shallots

Balsamic-Roasted Shallots by Kenzi Wilbur

Strawberry Balsamic and Olive Oil Breakfast Cake

Strawberry Balsamic and Olive Oil Breakfast Cake by indieculinary

Seared Mushrooms, Radicchio & Fregola with Whipped Ricotta

Seared Mushrooms, Radicchio & Fregola with Whipped Ricotta by EmilyC

Apple Cider Vinegar

You’re fun, funky, and hard to pin down! Who knows where we’ll find you next? One second you’re brightening up a salad; the next, a chocolate cake. We should all be careful not to let your playful appearance fool us—you’re secretly a workhorse and rarely disappoint.

Switchel

Switchel by Caroline Lange

Chocolate Cake with Tahini Buttercream Frosting

Chocolate Cake with Tahini Buttercream Frosting by Joanna Sciarrino

Smoky Bean Chili (With Prunes!)

Smoky Bean Chili (With Prunes!) by Emma Laperruque

Barbecue Pulled Jackfruit

Barbecue Pulled Jackfruit by Catherine Lamb

Rice Wine Vinegar

You’re a crowd-pleaser, and in the best way. You like to blend in and do your best work in the company of others. Some would probably call you loyal, humble—all that good stuff. Don’t get it twisted; you may be shy, but you pack a big punch.

Pork Bulgogi Yakitori

Pork Bulgogi Yakitori by Alexandra V. Jones

Tahini Noodles

Tahini Noodles by Alexandra V. Jones

Amanda Cohen's Secret Weapon Stir-Fry Sauce (for Vegetable Fried Rice & More)
Amanda Cohen's Secret Weapon Stir-Fry Sauce (for Vegetable Fried Rice & More)

Red Wine Vinegar

Do you wear glasses? Because you sure are wise. You lend yourself well to situations that take time. Low and slow is your motto, and thank goodness it is.

Anna Jones' Favorite Lentils with Roasted Tomatoes & Horseradish
Anna Jones' Favorite Lentils with Roasted Tomatoes & Horseradish
Chicken in Red Wine Vinegar Sauce

Chicken in Red Wine Vinegar Sauce by ChefJune

Waverley Root's Agrigento Red Cabbage with Black Olives and Capers

Waverley Root's Agrigento Red Cabbage with Black Olives a... by Genius Recipes

Sherry Vinegar

We all have that friend who’s fleeting, fickle, hard to pin down. And that friend is you. Sherry, you may have many, many imitators, but none are quite like you. Your loved ones have tried to figure you out, but alas, it's an impossible task. Go on with your bad self, sherry vinegar! You may not have the widest army of fans, but your small circle remains intensely devoted.

French Onion Tart

French Onion Tart by Jennifer Perillo

Grilled Apricots with Whipped Ricotta, Basil and Sherry Vinegar Syrup

Grilled Apricots with Whipped Ricotta, Basil and Sherry V... by Merrill Stubbs

Champagne Vinegar

Oh, look at you! You’re having more fun that the rest of us, aren’t you? Of course you are, you’re champagne vinegar! It should come as no surprise that you’re bubbly and bright and full of life. You bring light to everything around you, but beware because a little bit of you goes a long way.

Chicken and Radicchio Salad with Pickled Raisins and Walnuts

Chicken and Radicchio Salad with Pickled Raisins and Walnuts by Michelle McKenzie

Raspberry-Raspberry Shortcakes

Raspberry-Raspberry Shortcakes by Sarah Jampel

Eric Korsh's Farm Lettuces Salad with Dill Vinaigrette

Eric Korsh's Farm Lettuces Salad with Dill Vinaigrette by Genius Recipes

Nancy Silverton’s Egg Salad with Bagna Cauda Toast

Nancy Silverton’s Egg Salad with Bagna Cauda Toast by Genius Recipes

So which vinegar are you? Let us know in the comments.

Automagic Spring Menu Maker!
Automagic Spring Menu Maker!

Tags: Vinegar, Weeknight Cooking, Quiz