The Cook’s Tour
Cane vinegar is made from pure cane sugar, harvested, crushed, turned into syrup, fermented, then turned into vinegar.
Datu Puti is the leading brand of white cane vinegar in Thailand. It is sold throughout Asia and North America, mostly in Asian food stores or on Amazon.
There are a few oak barrel fermented cane vinegars, but those have a both a sweetness, and acoloration that limit their uses when converting from standard American-style white vinegar.
Datu Puti is clear, and can be substituted 1:1 for any white vinegar in a recipe. It usually allows you to cut back on sugar in recipes, because you don’t have to offset the harsher acidity with sweetness to mellow it.
Cane vinegar is a more mellow sour, without the harshness of American-style vinegars. It is an excellent source of flavor contrast. It can also be used as a preservative, as in pickling; as a flavorant and santizer, for brines and marinades.
- Thai sweet chili sauce;
- Barbecue sauce;
- Khao Man Gai – Thai street chicken;
- Cane vinegar chicken stew.
A FEW RIFFS
- A little better Asian contrast in my Iberian-inspired Tomato Tébar Soup;
- The kinder, gentler edge to my Better British Baked Beans;
- Proper punch for Perfect Pink Pickled Onions;
- Subs for salt in my Savory Sweet Yukon Gold Potatoes recipe;
- A better vinegar for Mayonnaise Morello.
There are four countries that make the majority of cane sugar vinegars in the world: Thailand; the Philippines; France; and, more recently, the United States began making it again. Vinegar can be made from any fermentation. Cane produces a high-quality utility vinegar.
Keep it in a dark place, and it will last indefinitely. Keep it in a place getting a lot of sunlight, and it will break down after about two months.
It came to us for a few legit Thai recipes, and it’s never left. The taste is that noticeably better than Heinz, or White House. It’s a quality vinegar, not a gourmet vinegar, meaning it’s the right balance of price to regular use. It gets my Jazz Chef Five Diamond Choicestuff award.