Storified by ebanreb· Tue, Mar 26 2013 18:44:00
Vinegar is described in the dictionary as an acid liquid obtained from an alcoholic liquid, as cider, by oxidation, as an acetous fermentation: used as a condiment and as a preservative. It is the product of two biochemical processes.
There are four basic types of vinegar:
Extremely popular vinegar, most everyone knows and usually found in restaurants, is Balsamic vinegar. The process of producing Balsamic vinegar begins with crushing grapes and concentrating the juice over an open flame. This produces what is called "must". The "must" is then fermented with yeast to produce alcohol, and is again fermented by the "madre" culture, producing the Balsamic vinegar we know so well. The entire process occurs in wooden barrels and as the liquid evaporates over time, it is then transferred to smaller barrels. It is these wooden barrels that what will give the vinegar its unique aromatic taste.
Some very interesting stories that are attributed to the use of vinegar since it was discovered approximately 10,000 years ago. No one knows who discovered it, but it probably occurred by accident. Vinegar means sour wine, so what probably happened was that some wine turned sour and vinegar was born. There are references to the healing and soothing properties of vinegar in the Bible. Vinegar was not permitted to be used by commoners, but was only permitted for use by the nobility by decree.
In health related issues, vinegar has many applications. Some such uses are.