How about Some Vinegar

Do you know where the International Vinegar Museum is located?. Do you think France?  Do you think Italy? Do you gave up? Ok, I will tell you. The only  International Vinegar Museum in the world is located in Roslyn, a town of 251 people in northeastern South Dakota.The word "vinegar" is from the French "vin," meaning wine, and "aigre," meaning "Sour."  Now we know what people mean when they say the wine turned "vinegary."Making wine requires in oxygen -in fact, oxygen would ruin the wine as it's being made.  Vinegar, on the other hand, requires oxygen when it is being made.  This why some of the best wine when opened and left for a while will turn into vinegar.My father's mother, who was as tightfisted as anyone I've ever seen, used to have three barrels sitting outside her home in Syria.  She would put some vinegar and water in the barrels, but more importantly, she would throw any item of fruit waste she could find into the barrels.  A half a fig would be good enough to o into her barrel.  The good part of a bad apple would go in.  Most people upon finding a worm in an apricot would throw the entire piece of fruit sway, but not my grandmother.  She would throw the worm out and put the remainder of the apricot into the barrel.  While making araq, a liqueur made from grapes with anise seed, she would squeeze the grapes and throw the peels and the stems into the water, vinegar and fruit mixture.  The flower trimmings of herb plants also would be part of it.  There was a joke in the village that went something like this: If someone had a basket of fruit that was overripe, the word was, "Give it to Umm Yousef (Mother of Joseph, who was her eldest son). " Because vinegar needs oxygen, her barrels were left open but covered with cheesecloth to prevent the adding of insects to the vinegar recipe.The result was, as you might expect, the best-tasting vinegar. We used to mix it with extra virgin olive oil and zaatar, dip fresh pita into the mixture and have the best snack.If you recall, a village in Italy went to the International Court to safeguard the name of  its prized balsamic vinegar, preventing other vinegar makers from labeling their vinegar "balsamic." Their concern is understandable, as balsamic vinegar takes years to cure, which is why it is so good and expensive.We all use vinegar in the kitchen in one way or another, but it is used in some cultures as a cure for dandruff when it is mixed with water and applied to the scalp.  Also, mixing three parts water and one part vinegar makes an excellent cleaner for hardwood floors.  Mixed with honey, vinegar makes a good gargling agent for sore throats.Here is a recipe for a wonderful French vinaigrette salad dressing.Walnut Oil and Tarragon DressingMakes one cup4       Tablespoons Dijon mustard1/2   teaspoon saltDash of freshly ground pepper1       Tablespoon cognac3       Tablespoons wine vinegar1 1/2 teaspoons finely chopped tarragon1/4   cup plus 2 tablespoons walnuts oil-In a chilled bowl, combine the mustard, salt, pepper, cognac, vinegar and tarragon, and whisk until blended.-Pour in the oil in a thin, steady stream, whisking continuously until thoroughly incorporated.Use this dressing with grilled vegetables or any mixed green salad.2