An Ode to Vinegar

Lemon Verbena Vinegar, by James Carrier.

Since going veggie, I’ve discovered joy for a lot of food I’d never bothered noticing and top honors has to go to vinegar. Vinegar! My primary use for vinegar before this year was as a coffee pot cleaner, but I can’t get enough of the stuff now. It’s perfectly designed for finishing any dish. I use balsamic on just about everything from spinach to soup. I sauté mushrooms in olive oil and white wine vinegar with fresh ground pepper. Cider vinegar makes a bright and tangy dressing, and by souring milk with plain old distilled vinegar, I fry up the lightest, fluffiest pancakes in the heavens. I don’t know the exact nutrition information, but based on what it does as a household cleaner, I’m going to guess it’s like scrubbing bubbles for my intestines. Vinegar bottles have taken over one entire shelf of my spice cabinet, while the mayonnaise in my fridge always expires before I use it more than once or twice. I think in the grand scheme of things that’s the way it’s supposed to be.