National Vinegar Month

May is vinegar month. Vinegar is useful for many things, and I’ll get to some of those after a bit. Vinegar has been around for a long time. As far back as 5000 BCE, Babylonians were making vinegar out of dates for preserving or pickling food. There has also been vinegar found in urns from 3000 BCE in Egypt. In Rome, they made vinegar out of wine, and various fruits, and at least since 1000 BCE, the Chinese were making rice vinegar.

Since ancient times, vinegar has had uses from a drink to a preservative to medicine. Hippocrates mixed it with honey for a cough syrup, and during the time of the Black Death, doctors rubbed it on their bodies and their clothing to protect themselves from the disease.

Today there are many different kinds of vinegar. Some of them are: Apple cider, Balsamic, Beer, Cane, Coconut, Date, Distilled vinegar, East Asian black, Flavored vinegar, Fruit, Honey, Job’s tears, Kiwifruit, Kombucha, Malt, Palm, Raisin, Rice, Sinamak, Spirit vinegar, Sherry vinegar, White, Wine.

Besides cooking vinegar has nearly an endless number of uses, such as cleaning, both surfaces and laundry, and health. Some of the uses I have read are, to stop insect stings and bites from itching, to get rid of foot odor, to soothe sunburn, particularly if the vinegar is cold, and to clean a hairbrush. Honestly, I haven’t tried any of these, but be my guest! What I use vinegar for most often, besides salad dressing is for keeping my kitchen sink running free. Whoever built my mobile thought it was a good idea to bring the water to the kitchen all the way from the rear of the mobile, so it does tend to clog up from time to time. After the second time I had the plumber out, he recommended baking soda and vinegar in the drain once a week. I haven’t had to have him back since.

Quotes about vinegar

Men are like wine – some turn to vinegar, but the best improve with age.–Pope John XXIII

Cucumber should be well sliced, dressed with pepper and vinegar, and then thrown out.–Samuel Johnson

A spoonful of honey will catch more flies than a gallon of vinegar.–Benjamin Franklin

To make a good salad is to be a brilliant diplomatist – the problem is entirely the same in both cases. To know exactly how much oil one must put with one’s vinegar.–Oscar Wilde

Vinegar: that’s what fear smells like.–Jennifer Egan

People mature with age and experience. I hope I more resemble a fine wine than bad vinegar.–Rick Kaplan

You can tell German wine from vinegar by the label.–Mark Twain

A loaf of bread, the Walrus said, Is what we chiefly need:
Pepper and vinegar besides Are very good indeed –
Now if you’re ready, Oysters, dear, We can begin to feed!
–Lewis Carroll

So I went down the local supermarket, I said “I want to make a complaint, this vinegar’s got lumps in it.” He said “Those are pickled onions”.–Tim Vine

It’s not the nineteenth century; I’m not meant to be judged on how good a housekeeper I am. Getting down on the floor with a lemon and a bucket of vinegar does not make me a better person.–Emily Matchar

Wrong solitude vinegars the soul, right solitude oils it.–Jane Hirshfield

Wine and the sun will make vinegar without any shouting to help them.–George Eliot

When we finished the kiss she said laughing, I can taste your loneliness – it tastes like vinegar. That annoyed me. Everyone knows loneliness tastes like cold potato soup.–Steve Toltz

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