THE ESSENTIAL (AND NOT-SO-ESSENTIAL) VINEGAR EVERY KITCHEN NEEDS
There once was a time when I would go to great lengths to avoid anything that tasted remotely of vinegar. At a finicky six years of age, I once lied to a friend’s mom about being “allergic to pickles” so that I didn’t have to subject myself to the torment of a McDonald’s hamburger with the works. (I got in big trouble for that one.)
But today the score has changed; vinegar is a crucial ingredient in many of my favorites dishes, from spicy-and-sour Filipino chicken adobo and Yucatán-style cochinita pibil to the sweet and vibrant Italian agrodolce. I’ve also been known to knock back a cocktail or two made with a fizzy fermented berry shrub. The sourness is bracing, and just like adding fresh citrus to a dish, cooking with vinegar allows expansive new flavors to open up, mingling with sweet and savory elements to stimulate the palate.
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