If you are a home cook who loves to experiment with cooking, apple cider vinegar, and balsamic vinegar must be staples in your pantry. But, how do they differ?
The most pronounced difference between apple cider vinegar and balsamic vinegar is the sources they come from. Balsamic vinegar is typically obtained from fermented grape juice, while apple cider vinegar comes from fermented apple juice. Accordingly, they have diverse flavors and are noticeably different in colors and textures.
So, read further if you need to learn in which ways these two types of vinegar exactly differ.
Apple Cider Vinegar vs Balsamic Vinegar
|Apple Cider Vinegar||Balsamic Vinegar|
|Key ingredients||Apple juice/ apples||Grapes|
|Traditional balsamic vinegar contains wine vinegar, while modern industrial balsamic vinegar includes other additives like caramel.|
|Type of acid||Acetic acid||Acetic acid|
|Level of acidity||5%- 6%||4%- 6%|
|Flavor profile||More sour and astringent than balsamic vinegar. Has a strong, crisp apple note.||Sweeter than apple cider vinegar and has a characteristic flavor with rich and complex hints of grapes.|
|Texture||Runny like water||Due to the prolonged aging process, balsamic vinegar can be denser and syrupy than apple cider vinegar.|
|Color||Translucent, brownish, cloudy, and less opaque than balsamic vinegar.||Has a distinctive deep brown color and is darker than apple cider vinegar.|
|Primary uses||– Used to flavor salad dressings, vinaigrettes, soups, meat dishes, pickles, marinades, etc.|
– Great for vegan baked goods
– Beneficial for household purposes (works as a tile cleaner, a fruit fly trap, a natural weed repellent, make-up tool cleaner, bathroom bowl cleaner, etc.)
– Functions as an excellent skin and hair care product (used as a hair rinse, a natural tooth whitener, a facial toner, a dandruff control tonic, a foot spa, etc.)
|– It is great as a finishing sauce and is used to add flavor to marinades, salad dressings, vinaigrettes, braised meat, dipping sauces, spreads, roasted vegetables, etc.|
– Used to add a distinctive flavor to certain desserts and beverages.
|pH Level||3.3 – 3.5||2 – 3|
|Health benefits||– It helps to burn excessive fat content in the body.|
– Controls blood sugar.
– Contains antibacterial and antimicrobial properties.
– Protects teeth from decay.
– Helps with skin conditions like acne.
– Soothes the sore throat.
|– Contain antiviral and antibacterial properties.|
– Encourages healthy digestion.
– Helps weight loss.
– Supports in maintaining healthy blood sugar levels.
– Strengthens bones.
– Promotes blood circulation
|Mode of production||Produced both commercially and domestically||Primarily made commercially|
|Availability||– Can be bought in plastic or glass bottles.|
– Readily available in supermarkets, online shopping sites, and in most grocery stores.
|– Comes mostly in glass bottles.|
– Can be purchased from supermarkets, grocery stores, and online sellers.
|Nutritional Value||– Apple cider vinegar is an essential source of vitamin C, antioxidants, probiotics and contains zero calories.|
– Therefore, the consumption of apple cider vinegar is a healthy option and helps the body in many ways.
|– Balsamic vinegar is a rich source of potassium and calcium.|
– Comparatively, consuming balsamic vinegar is as healthy as apple cider vinegar. But due to the high calcium content, it could have added benefits for bone and tooth health.
Digging Deeper Into Apple Cider Vinegar vs Balsamic Vinegar…
If you carefully observe the table above, you should understand that balsamic vinegar and apple cider vinegar have some significant differences. However, some of these differences are apparent, while some could only be experienced by using them both.
Balsamic vinegar can be considered a type of vinegar that undergoes a matured process compared to apple cider vinegar. In fact, in traditional balsamic vinegar production, it is known to be left to ferment for about 12 years!
Therefore, it is believed that this is one of the most lavish and distinct types of vinegar when compared with all the others.
In addition, balsamic vinegar is comparatively more expensive than apple cider vinegar. And even though apple cider vinegar could be used for many household purposes (such as cleaning), it seems that balsamic vinegar is typically confined to the kitchen with culinary pursuits.
However, both contain comparable health benefits with a sound nutritional value. And they can be used interchangeably in many recipes.
But, when using balsamic vinegar in place of apple cider vinegar, you will have to expect a change of color since balsamic vinegar is darker.
Balsamic vinegar and apple cider vinegar have their own ways of flavoring your foods, elevating them to the next level! They can be different in flavor, color, and texture despite them both falling under the umbrella of acetic acid.