Vinegar was first discovered accidentally thousands of years ago when wine fermented for too long. Although this incident probably occurred in many locations, the Sumerians were the first recorded civilization that found vinegar useful as a condiment and a preservative.
Used in Babylon in 5,000 BC, history experts have known that the Egyptians during the earliest times of the Pharaohs used vinegar to cook with. Vinegar is referred to in Ruth 2:14 and other chapters of the Holy Bible. The famous Greek Hippocrates is known to have prescribed the drinking of vinegar to his patients, and Julius Caesar’s best armies drank it as a tonic to remain healthy and ward off disease.
The French later began producing vinaigre (vin means wine; aigre means sour) by purposefully leaving wine casks open for two to six months, then filtering it and allowing it to mature for months or years. In the mid-1800s, famous scientist Louis Pasteur published a paper on the production of vinegar, which is still widely referred to today.
Over the centuries, since the first barrel of wine vinegar was produced, it has become universally popular—valued for a wide range of uses, including food preservation and flavor enhancing.