Vinegar is known for its multi-purpose quality. There are interesting folklores that surround this all-purpose liquid. Let us find out how it all started...
Vinegar has been around in our kitchens for ages now. Right from using it as a preservative for our food to several health benefits, vinegar has been an indispensable substance.
What is vinegar?
Talking about vinegar, not many of us know about it. Vinegar is a totally natural food. There are no harmful chemicals or preservatives in fact vinegar is a preservative itself. Vinegar is actually an acid with a low ph.
Vinegar makes itself when it comes in contact with any aerobic bacteria while it is exposed to oxygen. It then makes acetic acid, and this is the acid that we find in all vinegars.
By simply letting a wine, fresh uncooked apple cider or other fresh juices stay uncorked, we will get a batch of vinegar in a week or so.
However, not all aerobic bacteria can produce good tasting vinegar. If we want to make great vinegar, it is always better to purchase readymade vinegar or make one properly.
Discovery of Vinegar
There is no official record about the invention of vinegar and it is considered as an accidental discovery. However, there is much folklore that surround about how people discovered vinegar.
Legend states that a courtier in Babylonia discovered wine that was formed from unattended grape juice. This lead to the eventual discovery of vinegar. History also states that before 5000 BC, a civilization of ancient Babylonia used vinegar as a cleaning agent. The Babylonians later discovered that vinegar slows or stops the action of bacteria that spoils food and so they started using it as a preservative. They also used it as a condiment.
Another legend that surrounds the discovery of vinegar includes that Caesar's armies used vinegar as a beverage. The Egyptian queen, Cleopatra, demonstrated its solvency powers by dissolving precious pearls in vinegar and won a wager that she could consume a fortune in a single meal.
Helen of Troy apparently bathed in vinegar to relax. Hannibal, the famous African General, used vinegar to help his army cross the Alps. According to the writings of Titus Livius, a historian who lived around the time of Christ, obstructive boulders were heated and drenched in vinegar to crack the boulders into small pieces in order to allow them to be easily moved away.
Benefits of vinegar
There are many ways to utilize the virtues of vinegar. Vinegar is not just for preserving food or to use as a salad dressing. There are many healing functions that you can use it for. It cleans and sanitizes, it deodorizes and is a natural way to get rid of ants, other insects, and unwanted weeds. It is of course used in pickling but it also helps to kill unwanted bacteria like ecoli when you marinate meat.
Since then, this accidental discovery has been of great advantage to all of us and we cannot imagine a day without vinegar.