Monday, April 28, 2014

Days stale? Add a bit of tang with white vinegar...if you can find it.

Hunting for fun, interesting and helpful reading for my ESL students is a (time-gulping) joy. One of the latest just in time for spring is a list of clean freak fixes easier said than done in Italy because some of the common U.S. products aren't readily available, here. For example? Your be all and end all white vinegar....More...

According to Rozin in DIPLY, white vinegar kills 99% of bacteria, 82% of mold, and 80% of viruses. (For a slide show of all the things you can do with vinegar, Rozin sends you here.)

Especially suspicious when it comes to English foodstuffs, I can hear Italians asking, "Just what is white vinegar?" Even if white vinegar is a given in your household, you might not even know. I didn't until I came to Italy, and had to try to track it down in the "exotic" food stores in town (white vinegar as an exotic food, still makes me chuckle).

Think grappa gone sour: distilled grain and water resulting in a perfectly transparent vinegar. In the international food stores in Milan, you might find it in various concentrations; 5% is the standard, but to me it tastes a bit stronger than typical Italian red vinegar, so be parsimonious, at least the first times you use it.

It can be used just like you use Italian vinegars, but since it only is tangy, but really doesn't add any flavor of its own, it doesn't alter the taste of food, as all the Italian vinegars do, it just adds a pleasant bite.

Furthermore, since vinegar is acidic and anti-limestone, it’s a very effective and inexpensive cleaner, for example, for the interior of your fridge.

I miss the Heinz brand, if only I could find it in Milan….

Just a closing reminder that I get no kickbacks of any kind for mentioning products.

Hey, if you're an international food store person in Milan, and are curious about all the products that I miss, and that might be interesting to the Anglo-Saxon crowd in town, just drop me a comment. I'd be happy to send you my annotated list. Really, I have an annotated list.


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