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Old 11-18-2006, 12:29 PM   #1
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Which Vinegar for marrow chutney?

There's been a recipe for marrow chutney passed down the last few generations of women in my family. Sadly, my Mum is now getting on in years and I reckon I ought to start thinking about learning to make this chutney. I've got no kids (and too old to ever have any now) but at least we'll make it another generation down the line.

The big problem I'm going to have is vinegar. Here in Spain, you can't get distilled vinegar. Malt vinegar is available in tiny bottles from ex-pat shops. Wine vinegar is obviously available, as is balsamic vinegar (the real thing and fake versions with lots of added caramel).

Before I get my Mum's hopes up that I might start making it, can anyone advise me as to whether chutney can be made with wine vinegar and what the implications might be for the recipe?

Thanks for any help.

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Old 11-18-2006, 01:05 PM   #2
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you can yes, the taste may be sweeter or perhaps more "fruity" grape rather than apple, and possibly mellower. What you don't want is an herb wine vinegar (ex tarragon) unless that herb is also in the recipe.
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Old 11-18-2006, 01:05 PM   #3
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Well, Snoop ... I assume the "marrow" you are talking about is a summer squash - similar to zucchini? And, your "chutney" is a "pickled" relish?

The first thing I would do is get the recipe from your mom. If the recipe is Spanish in origin, and distilled vinegar is not available there, then it shouldn't be called for in her recipe! If this recipe has been passed down for a few generations ... someone should have noted on the recipe what vinegar to use. I would go with the recipe's instructions.

I'm guessing wine vinegar would probably be what is called for in the recipe.
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Old 11-18-2006, 02:07 PM   #4
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Sorry. I should have been clearer. The recipe is a British recipe. I just happen to live in Spain. I'll have to change my profile to make this clear in my posts.

Marrows are like very large courgettes/zucchini. The vinegar in the original recipe will be distilled vinegar with various spices infused in it rather than herbs. And yes, it is a pickled relish. If you are familiar with Branston pickle, it's a bit like that.
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Old 11-23-2006, 04:40 PM   #5
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British marrow!

Ask for "vinagre blanco" in the supermarket. I'm sure you'll find it. It's distilled vinegar. I make chutney for a living, and mix wine vinegar with distilled to get the right flavour.
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Old 11-24-2006, 03:41 AM   #6
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Thanks Clive. I've looked in a few and never seen it so I assumed no-one would have it. I'll have another look and see what I can find. I suppose it's a bit cheeky asking someone who makes a living from this, but what proportion of distilled vinegar to wine vinegar do you use?
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Old 11-24-2006, 05:21 PM   #7
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There's nothing cheeky about asking, because the answer is: "It Depends!"

I find wine vinegar far more acid to the taste than distilled "white" vinegar, so when I cook something with, say, lemons or limes - I might use 40:60 (Wine:Distilled). If it's red wine vinegar, it has a different taste. You have to play with your tastebuds on this one!
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Old 11-24-2006, 07:49 PM   #8
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Thanks for the info.
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Old 11-25-2006, 10:35 AM   #9
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And I do hope that you'll pass on this recipe to us. I to love chutneys.

Good Luck
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Old 11-25-2006, 08:31 PM   #10
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There are two things to take into account about which vinegar to use - acidity and flavor.

The vinegar should be at least 5% acidic (a pH of about 2.4). This information should be somewhere on the label - although it is not always listed here in the USA, but it is the only way to know what you are dealing with. Another name for distilled white vinegar is "pickling" vinegar - you might try asking for it under that name.

Different vinegars will have different flavors .... distilled white or pickling vinegars will be the most neutral flavored ... balsamic, malt, cider, wine vinegars will begin to impart different flavors.

I did do some research on marrow chutney recipes from the UK and they tended to all call for either distilled white, plain (same as distilled from what I gather), cider, pickling, or malt vinegars.

I hope that helps .... sorry I couldn't give you a better answer.
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