How Do I Choose the Best Cane Vinegar?

Kristeen Moore

Cane vinegar is a cooking tool that is made out of sugarcane. The best cane vinegars are sold in liquid bottles that are labeled as not containing any preservatives. This type of vinegar is also naturally light yellow in color, so any product that appears otherwise might be an imposter. Unlike traditional kinds of vinegar, true cane versions have both a subtle sweetness and richness in flavor. Sugar cane vinegars are most often used in Filipino dishes, but they are also utilized to make vinaigrettes, mustard, and pickles.

Stalks of sugar cane.
Stalks of sugar cane.

It can be challenging to choose the best cane vinegar straight from a supermarket because various brands can label their products differently. One of the first things to look for on a product label is for information indicating that the vinegar is purely made from sugar cane. Some kinds of bottled cane vinegars are actually made from a blend of various ingredients, so it is important that you look at the products carefully before buying them. Quality vinegars will also not contain any preservatives or artificial ingredients.

Sugar cane vinegars may be used to make mustard.
Sugar cane vinegars may be used to make mustard.

Some vinegar bottles do not come with product labels, especially if you purchase them from a farmer’s market or at an independent retailer. Still, there are certain steps that you can take in order to ensure that the product that you are buying is indeed vinegar made from sugar cane. One distinguishing characteristic of cane vinegar is its light-to-medium-yellow color, unlike other vinegars which are usually brown. You might question a particular kind of cane vinegar if it is dark yellow or brown instead of its traditional color.

In some cases, you might consider trying a few types of cane vinegar until you have found the best one. Although this kind of vinegar is made from sugar cane, it should have a subtle sweetness to it instead of an overpowering one. Some types of vinegars have added sugars, but true cane vinegar should not contain any additives. The flavor of a quality type of cane vinegar should also be rich without the overpowering taste contained in cider vinegars.

Filipino chefs commonly use this type of vinegar because sugar cane is commonly grown in that region. At the same time, cane vinegars are growing in popularity as an alternative to versions that are derived from apples and other fruits. Traditionally, cane vinegar is used as an excellent way to pickle cucumbers and to make mustard. This version of vinegar is also used to make vinaigrettes for salads as well as dipping sauces for breads.

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