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Substitutes for Malt Vinegar

Malt vinegar is the condiment that is liberally splashed over something like Fish and Chips. Ever wondered what you can use for all your dishes instead of malt vinegar? Here are some great substitutes that can be used.
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Substitutes for malt vinegar
Vinegar Power
Tunisian general Hannibal used vinegar during the Second Punic War to crack open huge boulders blocking his path. When the boulders were heated and vinegar was poured over them, they broke into smaller pieces.
Malt vinegar is prepared by first brewing barley to ale (a kind of beer), which is further seasoned to vinegar. It is light-brown in color, and has a pungent, toasty, lemony, nutty, and slightly sweet flavor. It is commonly used in making pickles, only if its acetic acid content is at least 5%, though it darkens light-colored fruits and vegetables. This vinegar is used in seasoning simple salads, beans on toast, and making chutneys and marinades. However, its flavor makes it too strong for making flavored sauces and vinegars.

So what are the substitutes that can be used for malt vinegar? Well there are a few of them which are excellent. Let's check them out.

Apple Cider Vinegar
Apple Cider Vinegar

Preparation
Apple cider vinegar or cider vinegar is produced by the fermentation of apples. Apples are crushed to liquid, to which bacteria is added to start fermentation. First, the sugars in the apples are converted into alcohol, and then alcohol is fermented to form vinegar.

Taste and Appearance
It is slightly yellowish-orange in color. Cider vinegar has a mild, fruity flavor.

Replaces Malt Vinegar In
Cider vinegar can be used as a replacement for malt vinegar in marinades, salad dressings, vinaigrettes, chutneys, pickles, sauces, and flavored ketchups, since malt vinegar's flavor is a bit too strong. 1 tablespoon of cider vinegar can be used wherever 1 tablespoon of malt vinegar is required. Aged cider vinegar is a great alternative for people who avoid malt vinegar due to gluten sensitivity.

Reported Benefits
  • Low in calories
  • Helps manage diabetes
  • Manages obesity
  • Balances pH level
  • Reduces acidity
  • Prevents nerve and eye problems
  • Salt alternative
  • Improves digestion
  • Protects against cancer
  • Removes toxins

Wine Vinegar
Wine Vinegar

Wine vinegar is either produced by fermentation of red wine or white wine in wooden barrels, and called either red wine or white wine vinegar, respectively. Wine vinegars are mostly used as a seasoning ingredient, and are not supposed to be directly consumed as a drink. The flavor of wine vinegars is directly dependent on the degree of aging the wine has been put through.

White Wine Vinegar

Taste and Appearance
White wine vinegar is clear to light-yellow in color, and has a balanced, milder flavor as compared to red wine vinegar, but cheaper white wine vinegar is sharper to taste.

Uses
It is used to season vinaigrettes, sauces, marinades, salad dressings, gourmet recipes, seafood, vegetables, and chicken.

Red Wine Vinegar

Taste and Appearance
Red wine vinegar has a pungent and stronger (though even) flavor than its white counterpart. It is pale-pink to magenta in color.

Uses
It is suited for bold recipes such as strong-flavored grilled meat (pork/beef/lamb/game) and tomato-based recipes. It is also used for pickling, when a rich flavor is needed and for making strong sauces.

Replaces Malt Vinegar In
Mature red/grape wine vinegar is a good substitute for malt vinegar in marinades. Both red and white wine vinegar are gluten-free and can be taken by gluten-sensitive individuals.

Reported Benefits
  • Contains antioxidants for anti-aging
  • Low in calories, fat, and sodium
  • Good for the heart
  • Salt substitute
  • Improves calcium absorption
  • Anti-cancer
  • Improves digestion

Balsamic Vinegar
Balsamic Vinegar

Preparation
Traditional balsamic vinegar is produced from a type of grapes called Trebbiano. The production process involves, first boiling the grape juice to about 30% of its original content, and further fermentation in wooden barrels. Thus, balsamic vinegar is not vinegar in the strict sense of the word, since it is not made from wine. This vinegar was originally produced in Modena, Italy, but has since become popular throughout the world.

Taste and Appearance
It has a dark hue and an even, complex, sweet-to-sour flavor.

Uses
It is used in salad dressings, chicken, seafood, steaks, marinades, eggs, fish, ice cream, pasta, vinaigrettes, sauces, fresh fruits, cheese, and tomato dishes. Balsamic vinegar really helps to bring out the fresh taste of fruits like strawberries.

Replaces Malt Vinegar In
It serves as a good replacement for malt vinegar in Fish and Chips, especially as a dipping sauce, when mixed with olive oil and spices.

Reported Benefits
  • Replacement for fat-laden oils, sugar
  • Absorbs minerals
  • Strengthens the bones
  • Source of energy
  • Strengthens the immune system
  • Improves digestion
  • Anti-aging antioxidants
  • Good for diabetics
  • Helps in fat loss
  • Helps reduce appetite

Lemon Juice
Lemon Juice

Taste
It has a sour taste, but is not as strong as vinegar.

Uses
It can be used in drinks, baked items, meat, poultry, fish, sauces, salads, fried recipes, steamed vegetables, and as a preservative.

Reported Benefits
  • Protects against kidney stones
  • Helps in calcium absorption
  • Source of vitamin C
  • Improves digestion
  • Prevents cancer
  • Regulates internal pH
  • Improves mental health
  • Protection against cold and cough
  • Helps in weight management

So, if you run out of malt vinegar, feel free to use any one of the options mentioned above. However, remember that, using any substitute will bring with it a slight, characteristic change in flavor. The best way to decide which alternative to use for which preparation is to let your own taste buds be the judge.
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Published: July 17, 2014
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