Making & Using Vinegar by Bill Collins

I have to admit, I was very impressed by this cookbook. It begins by describing the various vinegars and how they are made/taste. Then gives instructions on how to make the vinegars, including infusing. Then the rest of the book has great recipes that use vinegar (from salads to deserts). The only thing that kept this from being a 5 star read is that the recipes could be very vague at times and a lot of assumptions were made that the cook knew what they were doing. As well, you won’t be making the vinegar from easy scratch ingredients, though the process is simple. You will need to get some ingredients/sanitizers from specialty stores (mostly beer/wine making shops).


The book breaks down as follows: Part one is an introduction to vinegar, including what it is, the different types of kitchen vinegars, and non kitchen uses. Part two goes over homemade vinegars, infusions, shrubs, and pickling. Part three includes quite a few great recipes of stand by favorites, including vinaigretts, dressings, sauces, chutneys, slaws, appetizers, side dishes, soups, and of course, main dishes. There were quite a few recipes from around the world: Korean BBQ to Indian chutney.

To make your own vinegar, you’ll need a B-Brite cleanser/sanitzer. And you’ll need a ‘vinegar mother’, which also needs to be bought online. If you don’t live in the US, this might be difficult. But if you can get those two ingredients, then it is just a matter of adding your wine, beer, or cider and creating your own tastes. Directions for infusing the vinegar with garlic or other ingredients is also included.

What I loved about the book is that there are tips throughout. From simple things such as how to get your oil and vinegar salad dressing to stay together as a vinaigrette to using vinegar to replace buttermilk or lemon/lime juice in recipes.

In all, I am very glad to have this book – even if I can’t get my hands on the B-Brite or vinegar mother, there are some great recipes and tips in here that made it well worth the read.

Reviewed from an ARC.

This entry was posted in ARC, cookbook, non fiction. Bookmark the permalink.

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