How to turn fruit scraps into vinegar | Waste not

how to turn fruit scraps into vinegar waste not

A winemaker once told me that you can make wine out of anything: berries, bananas, plums, nettles, elderberries … whatever you like, really. Well, pretty much the same goes for vinegar, and past-their-best, battered and bruised fruits are prime candidates for fermentation. Apples, pears, grapes, pineapple, melons and even brown bananas all make unique-tasting vinegars. (Conor Spacey, the culinary director of Foodspace in Ireland, operates a zero-waste practice that makes fruit-scrap vinegars out of inspiring combinations such as watermelon skin with rosemary and bruised strawberry with honey.) Collect old or unwanted whole fruit and scraps in the freezer until you have enough (at least 200g) to make a batch of fruity flavoured vinegar.

Contrary to popular belief, you don’t need a vinegar “mother” to make vinegar, either. All you need is time, fruit, alcohol and oxygen. Sandor Katz writes in The Art of Fermentation: “Exposure of fermenting or fermented alcoholic beverages to oxygen allows for the growth of aerobic Acetobacter bacteria, which metabolise alcohol into acetic acid commonly known as vinegar.”

Fruit-scrap vinegars take minutes to prepare and last for years; they also age well, much like a fine wine…

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