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Often homemade, pineapple vinegar is a type of vinegar made with pineapple. Called vinagre de piña in Central America, this vinegar is a popular addition to a variety of dishes, including vinaigrette sauces, salsas, and vegetable toppings. In addition to its fruity flavor, pineapple vinegar is a favorite among cooks because it uses the skin of the pineapple rather than the actual fruit.
Although the fruit can be used as well, generally only the pineapple skin is included when creating this vinegar. Dark brown sugar, or the unrefined Mexican version, called piloncillo, as well as water, are often the only other ingredients in pineapple vinegar. Chili peppers, garlic, and other seasonings may be added to create spicier versions. Usually the ingredients need to ferment to create vinegar, but for more instant-use versions, apple cider vinegar can be added to the pineapple mixture. These instant versions are still better when allowed to sit for days or weeks before use.
In order to ensure no unwanted pesticides or chemicals mix with the fermenting liquid, organic pineapple is generally the preferred choice for pineapple vinegar. Additionally, it is important that all containers and utensils used in the process are extremely clean. Using items of questionable cleanliness may allow unwanted bacteria to develop in the vinegar.
To make pineapple vinegar, the pineapple rind, water, and sugar are placed in a clean container, covered, and allowed to ferment for about four to six weeks. The mixture will initially turn a dark brown but then clear as the solids settle. After one to three weeks the peels may be strained from the mixture. Alternately, the pineapple rinds may remain in the mixture until the fermentation process is complete. The forming vinegar should be kept away from light while it ferments, but it may be agitated, or shaken, periodically throughout the process.
When the liquid is ready to strain, it can simply be poured through a cheesecloth. If cheesecloths are unavailable, coffee filters can be used. The finished vinegar is normally a clear liquid, but additional ingredients or flavorings may change the coloring.
Once complete, the homemade pineapple vinegar can be transferred to jars or bottles for storage. As it sits, a gooey blob may form at the bottom of the liquid or may float on the top. Called the mother, this substance is used as a starter for other pineapple vinegar batches, so it should not be discarded.
A friend of mine from Brazil taught me how to make pineapple vinegar using chili peppers and spices. It pairs well with seafood and salads which we eat a lot of at my house. You can also add it to a mango salsa to accompany the fish or chicken or pork if you prefer.
This recipe makes one quart. The ingredients are two ripe pineapple rinds only, half a large onion in thin slices, one tablespoon fresh oregano, one teaspoon black peppercorns, twenty crushed garlic cloves, six chili peppers coarsely chopped, one tablespoon of cider vinegar and about a half teaspoon of salt.
Place the pineapple rinds in a pot of water and bring to a boil until
the rinds have softened about thirty minutes. Add more water if necessary to completely cover the fruit.
While that's boiling, put all the other ingredients in a tight fitting sterile jar. Strain the pineapple rinds and pour the liquid into the spice jar. The vinegar is ready to use as soon as it cools but it does get better after it sits a while.
@babylove - I've been making my own fruit vinegars for years and pineapple is one of the easiest ones to do. I have a bunch of different vinegar recipes to choose from but I'll give you the basic pineapple vinegar making process and you can adjust the measurements accordingly.
Start with one whole fresh pineapple, preferably organic if you can find it. One gallon of distilled water and six ounces of dark brown sugar.
Cut away the rind or peels from the pineapple and place them along with the water and sugar mixture into a sterilized glass container or several small glass containers and secure the lids tightly.
Put them in a cool dark place for about four weeks until they clarify. The vinegar is ready when you see the mother or white skins floating in it. It's that simple. No cooking involved.
Wow, I didn't know you could make your own vinegar. Pineapple is my favorite fruit. I'll definitely have to give this a try since it sounds so simple.
The article didn't explain if there is any cooking involved. Does anyone have the pineapple vinegar recipe that includes the amount of the ingredients used and exactly how to do it?