Does anyone else have this problem? I keep a small turntable on my countertop with a bottle of olive oil and several flavored vinegars out for handy use. The red wine vinegar, the tarragon vinegar and the balsamic vinegar (both the red and white) don't turn cloudy but twice now the aged white wine vinegar turns cloudy once it is opened. This happens in about 1 day. What's up with that? Is it still ok to use? The last one even threw a sediment after being open about a week.
You don't say what kind of vinegar you've purchased. It might turn cloudy if it is not a pasteurized vinegar. Acetobacter bacteria will continue to proliferate in vinegar if it has not been pasteurized as soon as O2 is available. This could also account for the sediment. Also, if there is plant matter or garlic in the vinegar (herbs), these can also cause cloudiness.
Thank you for your comments and welcome to the message forums.
It is an "aged white wine vinegar" made in Italy by Colvaita. It does not say on the lable if it is pasturized or not, however it does say that it is aged in barrels. I guess my other question is this: Is this still ok (safe) to use?
European made vinegars are more likely to be unpasteurized than are domestic. My guess is that's what you've got, but maybe they have a website where you can check. And yes, it should be perfectly safe. Pasteurization is a measure taken to extent shelf life and prevent the cloudiness or formation of a "mother" which tends to be offensive to most American consumers, but, like all pasteurization, it also tends to destroy some elements of flavor.
I checked with Colavita and indeed, their vinegar, which is produced at their factory in Modena, is not pasteurized. Had a long conversation with the Italian customer services lady about vinegar "mother", and the mistaken impressions Americans sometimes get that cloudiness is tantamount to "spoilage".
One more thing. There is a whole chapter devoted to making vinegar at home in your own kitchen (from leftover wines, if you have any) in my book, "Lost Arts: A Celebration of Culinary Traditions" (Ten Speed Press, 2000). It explains pretty clearly how wine is converted into vinegar and should answer any remaining questions you might have on the cloudiness in your commercial vinegar. (Hope I'm allowed to mention this on the Forum!)
I think you're safe metioning the book on the WS Boards!!!
Have you (or anyone) made homemade vinegar from leftover wine? Let me rephrase: has anyone INTENTIONALLY made vinegar from old wines? I'd be interested to hear how this went!
Guess I didn't quite make that clear. Traditionally, in a provincial French home, a small barrel would be kept in the kitchen for making vinegar. I've got a vinegar crock and vinegar barrel both in my kitchen. Any leftover bottles or glasses of wine go into the vinegar barrel.
You might imagine that the quality of the vinegar is pretty high. The chapter in the book I mentioned is devoted to telling readers how they can set up a vinegar barrel at home for a constant supply of good vinegar. It's
pretty easy to do . That answer the question?
You certainly did answer my question - thanks. However, I'm unfamiliar with this strange notion of, "leftover bottles or glasses of wine."
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