Tenwest Mandarin School


Help with American recipe

tigertiger - moderator (5079 posts) • 0

I have a recipe for apple butter that I would like to try, see below.

My question is about the cider vinegar.

In this recipe is it vinegar (sour condiment) made from cider?
Or is it the thick sweet apple concentrate, that can be diluted to make an apple juice type drink?

Help will be much appreciated.

4 lbs of good cooking apples (we use Granny Smith or Gravenstein)
1 cup apple cider vinegar
2 cups water
Sugar (about 4 cups, see cooking instructions)
2 teaspoons cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon ground cloves
1/2 teaspoon allspice
Grated rind and juice of 1 lemon

AlexKMG (2361 posts) • 0

Since it's an American recipe, vinegar refers to sour. Concentrate would be specified as such.

Carrefour has a huge selection of those drinking types of Chinese apple vinegar. Bet one of those would do the trick; though taste tests might be required.

Also, American apples totally lack any flavor, so the apple vinegar is to compensate for that. Maybe Chinese apples don't require any.

Ahmet (98 posts) • 0

Alex is right about the first part. Cider vinegar is definitely juice form concentrate. Unfortunately, the snide comment about American apples just doesn't hold up. Generalizations about produce from any nation are meaningless. The US produces some of the best, most flavorful apples in the world. Apple orchards in Washington, Michigan, and northern California produce many varieties of the most delicious apples around.

English Tutour (123 posts) • 0

—- And so does Canada produce the finest of apples in the world, especially the Macintosh variety, since the fall climate is perfect for apple growing!

Cider vinegar definitely is not thick and is a sour, liquid vinegar made from apples, I don't know about the Chinese product equivalent but you may find it in the Carrefour international shelves, Paul's, or Metro.

Alternately if you search google for a substitute or recipe for cider vinegar, that might help. Good luck and let me know how it turns out!

AlexKMG (2361 posts) • 0

I lived in Washington and California. Let me be clear, the generic grocery store apples are pretty tasteless as an apple flavor. Sure the red delicious variety is sweeter than Chinese fujis but still not much of an apple flavor.

Now within the last few years, some grocers do carry more selections of heirloom grown apples and organic. An organic Cameo is alright, but only on par with Chinese apples. To be fair, I don't know much about green apples, since I don't prefer them.

Now if you go to a small orchard in Washington and buy straight from the farmer bins, well those are really outstanding. Not to be beat by anywhere else on the planet. But how many people get that opportunity.

Alright, I will admit the comment was snide. But for me fruits and vegetables in Asia seem to taste better in most regards. The large farms and orchards in America are pretty much mass production factories.

tigertiger - moderator (5079 posts) • 0

One of the current advantages of Chinese local fresh produce is that the farmers are small and are not using the high yield, perfect shape and color, but no taste cultivars. These cultivars require irrigation and more chemicals.

There are still ugly but sweet things to eat here. I think the environmental stresses (drought, irregular water supply, etc.) actually add to the flavour.

Ahmet (98 posts) • 0

AlexKMG, now you're talking. I couldn't agree more about the flavorless agribusiness produced produce. It truly is tasteless. I guess I've been spoiled by all the farmers markets here in San Francisco. I agree, too, that the produce grown by some of my friends who are farmers near Shilin is some of the tastiest I've ever had anywhere. Thanks for expanding on your comment and for being such a good sport. Cheers!

Smillz (31 posts) • 0


The apple cider vinegar in the recipe is not entirely there for flavor- the acidity of the vinegar acts as a preservative as well. You definitely could not just use apple juice or concentrate.

You can buy apple cider vinegar at almost any market here. Look in the vinegar section- its the one with the apples on the label! :)

tigertiger - moderator (5079 posts) • 0

OK, surprisingly I found apple vinegar in Metro. I a big bottle, useful.

I also found Mason jars, with a flip lid and wire closer. one pound jars are just under 10rmb.

The Apple Butter recipe worked fine with local apple, and substituted the allspice with nutmeg, as cloves and cinnamon are already in it. by my word the straining is hard work. I didn't used to like cloves, but after Hua Jiao anything is nice.

Recipe here www.simplyrecipes.com/recipes/apple_butter/

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