Q:

What is the difference between white and brown vinegar?

A:

Quick Answer

The difference between white and brown vinegar lies in their respective ingredients. White vinegar is made from fermented alcohols, such as malt or corn. Brown vinegars, however, have many other possible sources.

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What is the difference between white and brown vinegar?
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Full Answer

The brown vinegars include cider vinegar, malt vinegar, brown rice vinegar and balsamic vinegar. Some, such as cider vinegar, are a light or medium brown shade, while balsamic vinegar is so dark that it appears black.

White and brown vinegars have a variety of uses. Because its flavor profile is so flat, white vinegar is primarily used as a cleaning and degreasing agent. According to the Huffington Post, the brown vinegars have more intense and complex flavor profiles, making them ideal for culinary use. For example, malt vinegar is the traditional condiment sprinkled over platters of the British classic called "fish and chips." Balsamic vinegar is a popular ingredient in salad dressings, meat glazes and many sauces. Apple cider vinegar is another salad dressing staple, and it is also a popular ingredient in health tonics and various home health remedies.

Other vinegars have niche applications. For example, dark purple umeboshi vinegar comes from Japanese umeboshi plums and has a cult following among macrobiotics devotees. Another speciality vinegar is Chinese black vinegar, an inky vinegar frequently used in dumpling sauces and soups.

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Related Questions

  • Q:

    What can I use instead of balsamic vinegar?

    A:

    A substitute for balsamic vinegar is a mixture of 1 tablespoon of red wine vinegar with 1/2 teaspoon of sugar, according to About.com. Another option is to mix the same amount of sugar with 1 tablespoon of apple cider vinegar.

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  • Q:

    What can be substituted for red wine vinegar?

    A:

    There are several options that are similar to the flavor profile of red wine vinegar and can, therefore, be used as substitutes such as white wine vinegar, rice wine vinegar, apple cider vinegar, sherry vinegar and balsamic vinegar. There are other substitutes for red wine vinegar that can mimic its taste, but do not have the same acidity as red wine vinegar. These include tamarind paste, red wine and white wine vinegar mixture, lemon or lime juice and just plain red wine.

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  • Q:

    What is a good substitute for tarragon vinegar?

    A:

    For tarragon vinegar, you can substitute either fresh or dried tarragon plus vinegar in a recipe. Use a tablespoon of fresh tarragon leaves to a cup of vinegar or a teaspoon of dried tarragon to a cup of vinegar.

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  • Q:

    What are some substitutes for rice wine vinegar?

    A:

    Rice wine vinegar can be substituted with white wine vinegar, apple cider vinegar with a pinch of sugar, or a mixture of three parts white vinegar and one part water. A recipe with rice wine vinegar typically intends for white rice vinegar to be used, not red or black rice.

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