History and uses of vinegar throughout the millennia

The history of vinegar is fascinating and takes us on a long journey through time, from preserved foods in ancient Mesopotamia to contemporary culinary delights such as romesco sauce.

Its origin goes back millennia: the first references date back to 5,000 BCE, when the first alcoholic beverages appeared, including the first drinking vinegars. We can find several references throughout the centuries: for example, in Ancient Greece the mixture of water, honey and vinegar was common and known as oxycrat, while in Rome the popular drink posca, the same condiment mixed with water, was considered a source of strength. It was in Mesopotamia however, around 2,400 BCE, that vinegar became an essential means of preserving food, allowing it to remain fresh for long periods of time. This innovation gave rise to pickles and pickling, a technique still used today to preserve vegetables, meat and fish.

Over time, vinegar became a fundamental culinary ingredient. In the 2nd century CE, its use as a sauce or condiment spread and became a key element in advanced gastronomy to add balance, clean fats or provide acidity and freshness. Adding it to dishes such as salads – together with oil and salt – made it an indispensable ingredient in Mediterranean and Asian cuisine.

Its original recipe includes ingredients that were abundant in the region, such as almonds, olive oil, tomato, nyora – a variety of dried pepper -, garlic and, of course, vinegar. Over time, romesco sauce has become a key ingredient in Catalan cuisine and is used to accompany a wide range of dishes, from traditional calçots, fish and seafood to grilled meats, vegetables or toasted bread. Its popularity has grown so much that today it is one of the most recognised and loved sauces in Mediterranean cuisine.

Our Badia vinegars are the perfect complement to traditional sauces such as romesco, mayonnaise or aioli.

Vinegar and its multiple uses have accompanied humanity for millennia: let’s appreciate its versatility and richness!

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