CH3CO2H in in chemistry, or simply vinegar in everyday language is an acidic liquid that you use to add flavor to your food. There are many types of vinegar: each one with a slightly different flavor, depending on the raw material used to produce it and the fermentation process.
The most common of all types of vinegar are white distilled vinegars. They are made from alcohol, which is distilled after its alcoholic fluids are diluted through acetic fermentation, and it should be your first choice when cooking meals and making salads. Alternatively, you can use white wine vinegar, which is produced from grape juice, again through some kind of alcoholic fermentation. If don’t have an acute sense of taste, you might not even realize the difference between the two, but those who become more experienced in the kitchen, know which of the two types of vinegar they should use to bring out the best in their recipes. Besides white wine vinegar, of course, there is also red wine vinegar, which is produced from red wine (as is obvious from its name). Its sharp taste makes it ideal for salad dressing and meat marinades.
There are also some types of vinegar that are made from fruits. Probably the most famous among them is the apple cider vinegar. One needs to squeeze down a significant quantity of apples, which then go through fermentation so that they become alcoholic, and with a lot of patience and time in your hands they ultimately turn into vinegar. Other types of vinegar are produced from bananas and pineapples, blueberries, blackberries, and orange juice, and each one seems to contribute in a unique way (in terms of flavor) in seasonal salads.
As for a purely Italian vinegar that can turn a few pieces of lettuce in a gourmet meal, that is the balsamic. It is different from other types of vinegar in many aspects: for starters its color is dark brown (and not a transparent white or red); it is produced from the juice of unfermented grapes, it is sweet and sour in taste at the same time, and it can have the texture of a syrup depending on how old the vinegar is. Again, the balsamic’s applications in your kitchen are numerous.
This might come as a surprise, but have you ever heard of rice vinegar? Well, it seems that making vinegar from rice is possible, if you have such an abundance of rice crops as Asian countries do. Rice vinegar has a mild and sweet taste, and the variety of rice and the grains used for its production, account for the different colors.
Last but not least, there are certain types of vinegar that are produced from herbs like thyme, rosemary, and basil herbs, although these are types of vinegar that you usually prepare at home on your own, given of course that you have a fair understanding of the process.
All in all, don’t settle for the first kind of vinegar you find at the middle shelf of your supermarket. Instead, choose the kind of vinegar that works for you and take your cooking and tasting experience to the next level.