Tuesday, April 26, 2011

(V) Vinegar In Our Veins


I'm not sure the reason for it, but my family has always had a fondness for vinegar. Any type of food that we could season with pickling brine was fair game, and apparently there was always an ample supply of it in the cupboard.


My roots are of Croatian and American Indian, and while researching Croatian recipes, I did find Pickled Pineapple and Vinegar Pie, both which make my mouth water at the mere thought of it. There was also Balsamic Chicken, Sour Cabbage Rolls, and Warm New Potato Salad, which includes vinegar.


Perhaps like the Italians love garlic, we Croatians love the tartness of vinegar. 

Or maybe we're just weird.


One of our favorite treats as youngsters was bologna in vinegar. Mom always bought the thick sliced Blue Bell brand and we would cut it into bite sized squares, drizzle it with vinegar and salt, and have our fill. Even today, I occasionally find pickled bologna in the grocery store and find it just as tasty as our homemade version.


Our neighbor had a gooseberry bush and even those little green fruits weren't safe from our vinegar jar. Although they are supposed to be picked when soft, red and sweet- we plucked them while they were crunchy and sour- only to add an extra wallop of sharpness with vinegar and salt.


We experimented a bit with apple cider vinegar, pouring it on sliced oranges and apples, dipping carrots, tomatoes and cucumbers in it, and simply eating vinegar soaked cabbage with our fingers. And when we were finished, we sometimes drank the leftover vinegar- sipped it like fine wine.


There was a time when I would not even taste a green bean without vinegar on it, and I was appalled and angry that school lunches did not include pickled green beans. My fourth grade teacher made me clean my plate one time and I gagged on every green bean. If only there would have been a shot of vinegar handy! I could have enjoyed recess that day with all the other kids...


As I've matured, my taste in food has also. I rarely crave pickles, seldom buy bologna, and love green beans today without the help of Heinz.


But there are still times when I'll slice an apple, dab it with vinegar and salt and enjoy that sour treat. And of course, cucumbers are not the same without a little rice vinegar added.


Just thinking about vinegar has me wanting to explore and try some more civilized recipes from my Croatian background.


Warm New Potato Salad? 

Sounds perfectly vinegary!

27 comments:

mybabyjohn said...

In the summer there was always a dish of cucumber slices marinading in vinigar and salt on the table. Dad just loved it. Pickled eggs were also a favourite.
Great vinigary memories.

baygirl32 said...

Pickled pineapple and vinegar pie? Can't say I've ever heard of either. Your post has me wanting malt vinegar thoiugh

RJR said...

Pickled Pineapple Nooooooo that's so wrong !!! but I guess its whatever rocks your boat :)

RJRdaydreamer

Margaret Hall said...

OOoooo, yum!! Interesting life with vinegar...Who knew?...lol..
I can actually say that you are the FIRST person that I have known that dipped apple into vinegar~! I am loving my garlic/vinegar cucumbers, too...Have them often..
They do say that vinegar does help with weight loss and with digestion for lots of foods...
Good one, friend~!
Guess what?..tomorrow is "W"...lol

Sherrie said...

Hi!
I've never tried vinegar on anything but cucumbers. I'm not really fond of vinegar, so I'm sure I wouldn't like it. But your Vinegar Pie sounds yummy. Have a great day!

Sherrie
Just Books

Marian Allen said...

I love vinegar on kale greens. :) Other than that, vinegar is for pickling in my family. I'm going to try those pickled green beans, maybe, and definitely pickled red onions!

Marian Allen
Fantasies, mysteries, comedies, recipes

sisterlinda said...

Easter is a time of celebrating the event of Christ's death and rising from the dead. Also easter bunnies,chocolate, and dyed eggs! You might wonder what happens to all those dyed eggs once Easter is over....well, PICKLED EGGS!

Yes, sisters I will have a small jar ready. They should have just the right amount of time to pickle.

Don't it just make your mouth water?

Beth Zimmerman said...

One of my favorite things on the dinner table when I lived in Mexico was green onions with the bulb quartered, doused liberally with salt, and then soaked in vinegar. Seems like I should be able to duplicate it but it's never quite as good as the ones in my memory!

Mama Jewel said...

Yep...that's the way it was at our house! Everything soaked in vinegar. Went to Fresh Market a few weeks ago and I thought I was buying Mozzarella Balls and Tomatoes in a vinegret. When we got home I popped one in my mouth....Wow...Pickled Garlic Cloves with Red Peppers! They were great....Rick and I had to stop aftering eating about 6 of each...but we will be buying them again. Linda....ready for your eggs on Sister Weekend!!!

lvroftiques said...

Yes I too am a vinegar lover. And it's good stuff for ya! So go ahead an indulge by dipping that apple....Haven't tried that one *winks* But skip the extra salt. I'm feeling a little puckered now.... Vanna

TC PC REPAIR said...

Long John Silvers isn't great until I soak my fish, fries, and hush puppies in malt vinegar. Summer isn't summer with out fresh picked cucumbers soaked in salty vinegar. Yum yum

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