By Darius Thornton
Apple. Cider. Vinegar. What a wonderful and versatile substance. Produced from fermented apple juice, it is used in a wide variety of culinary commodities. Including many types of marinades, vinaigrette, dressings for salads, chutneys, and food preservatives. By now, it is also common knowledge that there are numerous health benefits to consuming apple cider vinegar. It’s been scientifically proven to do things from helping lower blood sugar to killing harmful bacteria to helping people lose weight and trim down on belly fat. It seemingly does it all. Though, that’s not exactly what I’m here to discuss today, odd as it may seem. This miracle worker of a vinegar has a lot going for it, sure, but does it live up to the hype in the most important way possible? Sure, an apple a day keeps the doctor away, but how does it taste? Over the next few days, I will try apple cider vinegar on various foods to see if this health fad is truly worth it.
Meal 1: Toast
I guess I started off simple. For the first day of the captain’s log, I used my breakfast of toast and sliced apples for the experiment. Two pieces of Martin’s potato bread, which is oddly yellow and sweet for bread. I poured a bit of apple cider vinegar on both pieces of toast, muttered my prayers to the heavens, and dived right in, taking a bite before I could stop myself. When I say, I was immediately revolted, I’m not kidding. I’m honestly not sure what I was expecting. Wait, yes I was. I was expecting it to be good. See, my logic went like this: apple cider is pretty good, for what it is. I like salt and vinegar chips, minus the smell at least. So I should like apple cider vinegar, right? No. Somehow, I managed to forget how disgusting vinegar actually is. It was overwhelmingly sour and bitter, overpowering the sweet taste of the bread completely. In hindsight, I probably should have added a bit of jelly or buttered it to mask the taste a bit more. Bread has far too bland of a taste to mix well with the overwhelming taste of vinegar, especially with how much I put on. Needless to say, I found myself chugging cranberry juice to get the taste out of my mouth, which didn’t really help at all. I had to resort to chewing gum. I rate it 1 out of 10. I would definitely not recommend it, unless you have something sweet enough to combat the bitterness. Jelly, Nutella, peanut butter, or butter would do the trick.
Meal 2: Pork Chop and Potatoes
Things got more interesting at dinner that night. My mom made fried pork chop and mashed potatoes, so I decided to up the intensity a bit. Instead of a few drops of apple cider vinegar, I decided I was going to completely douse my plate in it, like I was pouring on gravy. I regretted it instantly. The pork chop wasn’t too bad at first, surprisingly. I guess it was so full of grease that the taste temporarily overpowered the bitterness of the vinegar. Temporarily. Nothing could prepare me for the absolute horror that was the aftertaste. The sourness sprang up out of nowhere and had me coughing in disgust. The vinegar just doesn’t mix with tender, deep-fried meat. I didn’t think it was possible for anything to ruin pork chop, but I was quickly proven wrong and my tastebuds paid for it with their lives. I was never the biggest fan of mashed potatoes anyway, so when I smothered them in apple cider vinegar, my opinion didn’t get any better. The soft, pasty consistency, didn’t mix with the cold, thick vinegar from the start. The vinegar was just so overpowering, with hints of garlic herbs and butter in the potatoes coming together to form a truly unholy concoction. I actually gagged a bit, much to my family’s delight. This is the point I realized I was in this for the long haul, whether I liked it or not. Despite that, I had to brush my teeth again to get the wonderful taste of garlic and apple vinegar out of my mouth. Another meal down. I just hoped my stomach could take it.
Meal 3: Pancakes
Forget what I said before. Up until Thursday morning, I was absolutely positive that nothing could ruin pancakes. And yet again, I was wrong. Very wrong. Oh, sweet pancakes, what did I do to you? Instead of my usual choice of Aunt Jemima’s maple syrup, I drowned my Eggo pancakes in, you guessed it, apple cider vinegar. The results almost made my stomach betray itself. Even without syrup, the pancakes were still very sweet and apple cider vinegar, if you haven’t caught on, was not. Not at all. It wasn’t a flavorful contrast of sweet and sour; it was just a complete and utter abomination. Words cannot express how much I hated this. What was once my favorite breakfast food now tasted like vaguely sweet bread topped with what I’d imagine urine would taste like: bitter, sour and heavily acidic apple juice. I could only get through one of the silver-dollar hotcakes before I just threw the remaining two in the trash and went to find my gum to revive my taste buds.
Meal 4: Pizza
You know that saying, when you hit rock bottom, the only place to go is up? It’s not true. This was the worst, by far. When my parents ordered a pizza Thursday night, I knew my fate was sealed. Might as well have started writing my will right then and there. It’s a real shame that I was actively dreading eating my favorite food. I lightly drizzled a substantial amount of it over the plain cheese pizza, muttering a quick apology to my ancestors for this desecration. The first bite was all I needed. There was just way too much going on. The cheese, the sauce, the crust, apple cider vinegar, too much. The tangy sauce met the bitterness of the vinegar and neither seemed to want to yield to the other. The cheese was somehow warm and gooey and cold and moist all at once, which definitely should not have been possible. Wet pizza just isn’t right. It was all soggy and gross and it smelled like actual death. Vinegar and tomato sauce shouldn’t coexist, ever. Everything that made pizza great, was gone. I couldn’t finish a slice. But there was a silver lining: my suffering was now over. I was finally free to enjoy my food again.
In conclusion, while apple cider vinegar may be healthy, I don’t recommend putting on anything you plan on ingesting, unless of course, you’re like me, and you hate yourself.