Vinegar in Finland

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Is vinegar different in Finland?

When I moved to Finland, my friends told me a few times that Finnish vinegar is different from Japanese vinegar.
Frankly I didn’t believe them, “Yup, right. They just don’t understand vinegar” I thought.
To be precise, let’s look at this from a chemistry teacher’s point of view:
1. The main ingredient of vinegar is acetic acid, CH3COOH.
2. In Finland, ingredients other than acetic acid are called vinegar?
→No, that’s not possible!
Of course, the main ingredient of vinegar is acetic acid in Finland, so don’t worry.
Of course, the main ingredient of vinegar is acetic acid in Finland, so don’t worry.
As a side note, I realized that it is not so common to peruse the ingredient labels of foods or think about the chemical formula. So people do that and I have great respect for them, I just love chemistry so it is a hobby for me.

The vinegar section in Finland

To explore the mysteries of Finnish vinegars, I headed to the vinegar section of the supermarket.
Quite a variety of vinegar. In Japan, you can find black vinegar and fruit vinegar, but the variety of vinegar in Finland is quite impressive.Finnish, or Scandinavian and Baltic vinegars and all sorts of specialties from European countries.
Of course, I had no idea what kind of vinegars all those were or what were the characteristics of each one, so I asked Juhani which was the most common type of vinegar used in Finland, and bought it.

Finnish vinegar is different in ***!

When I actually opened the package and smelled it, of course it smelled like vinegar. Thank goodness, vinegar is acetic acid in Finland too. But the smell was quite strong. I checked the label to see what they had put in the bottle.
The concentration of the commonly sold vinegar brand in Finland is typically 10%. To give a comparison, the concentration of vinegar in Japan is about 5%, although it of course varies from product to product. So it seems that Finnish vinegar is twice the strength compared to Japanese vinegar.
Of course, the 5% figure is not common knowledge. However, in the acid-base field of high school chemistry, finding the concentration of acetic acid in an experiment is a familiar story. I’ve memorized it thanks to many lessons, but I never thought it would come in handy here.

What I was curious about was the concentration of vinegar in other countries. I did a quick search and found that most countries use 5%, such as 5-8% in the U.S. and 5% in Germany, but in Russia, vinegar is sold in a wide range of concentrations, from 3-15%. It could be argued that the vinegar Sold in Finland with high concentration is due to the influence of Russian and other Baltic traditions of preserving. So how can we use vinegar in Finland? When making Japanese recipes? Here’s an article about it.
Vinegar in Finnish Recipes, How and What to Use?
If you see vinegar in a Finnish recipe, what should you use? You can also find out how to use Finnish vinegar in Japanese recipes.

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