March 27, 2012
Vinegar is used in many cuisines but fruit vinegar is especially popular throughout Central and South America. In the warmer Mexican regions, fruit vinegar recipes are often made with pineapple, and this delicious vinegar is used for pickling and cooking.
In the cooler Mexican areas apples are often used instead. Vinegar takes a few weeks to ferment in warm weather or a couple of months to ferment in cooler weather. You can use it in Mexican salad recipes and to make vinaigrette.
Fruit Vinegar Ingredients
Fruit vinegar recipes are usually made with water, fruit and sugar. The water should be purified and you can try different fruit. Pineapple and apple are the most popular fruits for making fruit vinegar. You can use just the fruit peel or add the whole fruit to the recipe.
You can use brown sugar to make fruit vinegar or you can use piloncillo if there is a Mexican store near you. this is an unrefined Mexican brown sugar and the word piloncillo refers to the cone shape in which the sugar is made. Other words for piloncillo include panocha and panela. You can get piloncillo oscuro, which is dark piloncillo, and piloncillo blanco, which is lighter. You can get all different sizes of cones, ranging from three quarters of an ounce to nine ounces.
Piloncillo is hard compared to the brown sugar you might be used to. You will have to cut it with a serrated knife. Use it in any recipe which calls for dark brown sugar or in traditional Mexican recipes. Piloncillo is used in champurrado, which is a Mexican hot chocolate. It is also used to sweeten coffee or to make desserts.
Recipe for Pineapple Vinegar
This recipe is incredibly simple and all you need is water, the peel from a ripe pineapple and sugar. Sterilize the container and lid by washing them in hot, soapy water and rinsing them well.
After you strain and store the pineapple vinegar, you might notice a gelatinous mass floating on top or hovering at the bottom. this is normal and harmless. if you make more vinegar, put some of this mass into it because it helps the vinegar develop.
What you will need:
1 gallon purified water
Peel from 1 pineapple
How to make it:
Put the water, sugar and pineapple peel in a sterilized glass container which has a tight-fitting lid. Stir it well. Leave the container somewhere dark for between four and eight weeks, depending on the temperature.
The vinegar will go murky and brown to begin with but after a while it will clear and you will see a white skin start to form at the base of the container. When this happens it is ready.
Strain the pineapple vinegar though a coffee filter or double-layered cheesecloth, into bottles which have been sterilized and use corks or tight-fitting lids to seal them. Keep the vinegar somewhere dark and cool until you want to use it.