Sauces, especially if they're not great, can be pepped up with a teaspoon or two of vinegar. And mayonnaise prepared with vinegar instead of lemon juice will keep for several days well-covered in the fridge. Egg whites whisk better and last longer with a few drops of vinegar. To stop eggshells cracking during cooking, make the water acidic by adding a couple of spoonfuls of vinegar. Wine and apple cider vinegar contains fewer calories than lemon: 18 per 100 grammes compared to 29. What's more, vinegar is quickly and fully eliminated by the body, while the citric acid of lemon is only partially eliminated. There's nothing better than vinegar when you're dieting, even strictly, because it provides only three calories per person when used in a salad. With its high content of vitamins, minerals, enzymes and amino acids, vinegar helps the metabolism to produce digestive enzymes, thus aiding the absorption of nutrients.
You can spray fish with vinegar when preparing it, to prevent your hands picking up the smell. Having gutted the fish, wash it with warm water and vinegar, dry it and wrap in cling film or foil; it will keep happily in the fridge. If you soak fish in water and vinegar for about half an hour before cooking, the flesh will stay white; more importantly, if you add a little vinegar to a court bouillon, the fish will stay whole and firm.
Does your meat smell bad? Wash it in water and vinegar, or just vinegar, to lose the smell. If it's tough or stringy, soak it in vinegar for a couple of days, then dry well before cooking. Chunks or slices can be marinated for an hour, while steaks need two: soak in equal parts water and vinegar and drain well before placing on a very hot grill. Sprinkle a little vinegar on sausages before cooking to soften and add flavour. Kidneys have a bitter taste, which can be instantly removed by soaking for an hour in equal parts vinegar and water before draining, removing the fat and preparing for cooking.
Cooked pulses and peperonata
Cooked pulses and peperonata are more digestible with a spoonful of vinegar. But also the colours of cooked vegetables benefit from a few drops. And the smell, of cauliflower or root vegetables, tends to disappear. Wrapped in a cloth soaked in vinegar, asparagus will stay fresh for several days. Beetroot cooked in water and vinegar keeps its lovely purple colour. And the same if it's soaked in vinegar for an hour, drained and sliced for adding to salads.
Vinegar added to water is ideal for washing vegetables; it leaves them perfectly clean and free from soil or insects. Unlike bicarbonate of soda, vinegar does not lead to the loss of vitamins and minerals, and it creates the perfect acidity to break down some of the most commonly used pesticides.