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Old 05-01-2018, 10:43   #1
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Availability of vinegar?

Is plain white vinegar something that is easily available around the world?

I remember, once, when I was stationed in Germany, trying to find a gallon jug of plain white apple cider vinegar, and not finding it. Eventually I found a liter bottle of brandy vinegar, of the sort that is usually used in cooking or salads, but I never did find bulk white vinegar.

Someone told me, once, that I was simply looking in the wrong place. Which is possible, my German was rudimentary.

But I'm wondering. In the U.S. plain white vinegar is available in practically every grocery store. Is it something that is commonly stocked around the world? Would I be able to find it in a local grocery in Panama, Domincan Republic, Tonga, etc.?
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Old 05-01-2018, 11:05   #2
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Re: Availability of vinegar?

Certainly in Panama (on your list) and the rest of Central America.
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Old 05-01-2018, 11:37   #3
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Re: Availability of vinegar?

Should be available most places where salad dressings are sold.
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Old 05-01-2018, 12:00   #4
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Re: Availability of vinegar?

There is a Price Smart store in Panama City which sells many of Costco’s Kirkland Brand products. I am pretty sure we saw the cases of two gallon jugs of Four Monks white distilled vinegar there but that was a few years back so memory is suspect.
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Old 05-01-2018, 12:24   #5
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Re: Availability of vinegar?

There are many, many types of vinegar, most of not all are just diluted acetic acid, just about every part of the world has their own variation of vinegar, and it may be called by other names?
https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Vinegar
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Old 05-01-2018, 12:24   #6
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Re: Availability of vinegar?

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Originally Posted by sailorchic34 View Post
Should be available most places where salad dressings are sold.
Vinegars sold for salad dressings are what I don't want.

I'm looking for something as close to dilute acetic acid as possible.
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Old 05-01-2018, 12:33   #7
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Re: Availability of vinegar?

All through the Caribbean and the South Pacific I used vinegar to clean the heads every couple of weeks.

I don't ever remember it being difficult to find...... or even recall spending time looking for it or thinking 'better stock up' when we saw it.
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Old 05-01-2018, 12:54   #8
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Re: Availability of vinegar?

Seeing as how a lot of cleaning vinegar etc is just 5% diluted acetic acid, then why not just get some acetic acid and dilute your own?
I keep acetic acid crystals and have had good luck passivating stainless steel with it myself.
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Old 05-01-2018, 13:23   #9
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Re: Availability of vinegar?

Caribbean, Mexico white vinegar is readily available but not so much in the Med.
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Old 05-01-2018, 16:21   #10
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Re: Availability of vinegar?

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Caribbean, Mexico white vinegar is readily available but not so much in the Med.
That is the kind of thing I was hoping for.
It'd always been the sort of thing I'd take for granted, and always expected to be around, primarily for cleaning, but also for canning, pickling, etc.

Except that I'd not been able to find any in Germany, some decades ago, and I was wondering. One of the great things about travelling is finding things you'd never heard of. One of the downsides is not being able to find what you'd never considered might be difficult.

(I'm currently experimenting on whether wrapping cheese in vinegar-soaked cheesecloth and sticking it in a ziplock bag will keep mold from growing, which is why it was on my mind.)
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Old 05-01-2018, 16:31   #11
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Re: Availability of vinegar?

We cut bulk cheese at our local whole foods co-op. We lightly pat the cheese with vinegar soaked rags before it is wrapped in syranwrap. This helps to keep it for a couple of weeks. Personally we vacuum seal our cheese hunks and it keeps for a very long while. We've found small vacuum sealers to be quite handy. While traveling and experimenting with local vinegars remember the strong tasting ones will impart flavor to your cheese hunks.
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Old 05-01-2018, 16:51   #12
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Re: Availability of vinegar?

Not available in large quantities in Tonga, iirc, but available in 4 liter plastic jugs in Australia. A 4 l. jug lasts us quite a long time. I use a bit when washing the overhead and inside of the hull in our aft cabins, and other places on the boat. Jim soaks stuff in a vinegar bath. All in all a 4 liter jug will last a couple of years in our usage. Sometimes buy it in 2 l. size. Do not use it for salad, I prefer different vinegars and fresh lime or lemon juice for that.

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Old 05-01-2018, 17:26   #13
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Re: Availability of vinegar?

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We cut bulk cheese at our local whole foods co-op. We lightly pat the cheese with vinegar soaked rags before it is wrapped in syranwrap. This helps to keep it for a couple of weeks. Personally we vacuum seal our cheese hunks and it keeps for a very long while. We've found small vacuum sealers to be quite handy. While traveling and experimenting with local vinegars remember the strong tasting ones will impart flavor to your cheese hunks.
I've been buying bulk cheese for several years. I tried waxing it, at first, but vacuum sealing is easier and guess a better job. The last time, I cut it into larger blocks, and I've been seeing mold on my in-use block. I'm hoping that the vinegar will deal with it.
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Old 05-01-2018, 17:41   #14
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Re: Availability of vinegar?

"plain white apple cider vinegar,"
I've never heard of that. Plain white vinegar, yes, but cider vinegar is normally the yellow color of cider.
Vinegar's increased acidity usually will help kill all sorts of mold growth, and with any firm cheese it is normal to just cut off any mold, then rinse the cheese, or rub it with clean paper toweling soaked in vinegar, to kill any remaining mold spores, etc. (Then water rinse and dry, again with clean paper towels because they're fairly sterile.)

Every time you touch, hold, handle, cheese? That's where the mold starts growing. I've literally seen handprints growing on supermarket-cut block cheese. I prefer to see it "factory" sealed, like an aged Gouda or Edam all coated with wax. And then JUST start with cutting it once, in half, and keep working back from that cut edge. Only one cut edge, only one place for mold to start. An occasional vinegar wipe would certainly help that. I suspect any dry wine would make a good substitute. Vinegar being "old wine", i.e. old wine that has kept fermenting.
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Old 05-01-2018, 20:33   #15
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Re: Availability of vinegar?

We've just run out of white vinegar and there has been none available in bulk (2l containers) for a couple of months in Port Moresby. (Just small expensive bottles in with the salad dressings/mayo etc). In addition to head and general cleaning, I like to keep it in bulk in case of jellyfish etc stings

I used brown malt vinegar for the ham cloth at Christmas, should work the same for cheese.
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