Rice vinegar is less acidic than some other vinegars and adds a mellow, sweet flavor to marinades and salad dressings.

You’ve already got a crowded shelf of vinegars in your pantry—red wine, white wine, cider, balsamic. Isn’t rice vinegar just for Asian dishes? No. Does it really belong with your everyday ingredients? Yes! Choose unseasoned (we like Marukan); the seasoned variety has added sugar and salt, so it’s trickier to cook with. Or forget cooking altogether and pour it into a summery, gingery peach cocktail. According to the Vinegar Institute, a bottle keeps almost indefinitely. But we say bottoms up.

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