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Salad dressings are flavorful blends of specific acids and oils used to dress up a wide variety of foods.

Common Vinegars Used as Salad Acids Common Sources of Citrus and Vegetable Acids for Salads Commonly Used Salad Oils
White wine vinegar
Red wine vinegar
Sherry vinegar
Champagne vinegar
Balsamic vinegar
Tarragon vinegar
Malt vinegar*
Orange
Grapefruit
Lime
Lemon
Tomato
Olive oil, both Extra Virgin and Pure
Sesame Oil
Vegetable Oil (generally a blend)
Walnut oil
* Most commonly used as a condiment. One would rarely see it used in salad dressing.
It is the flavor and strength of the vinegar that you are after, not the sharpness. If the vinegar is sharp, use more oil. If one acid is very strong, dilute the flavor by adding a second acid. Emulsion
A mixture of 2 or more liquids, one of which is a fat or oil and the other of which is water-based, so that tiny globules of one are suspended in another.

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The Guiding Principle
When a dressing does not have a sharp bite, a bitter edge, or an oily feel in the mouth, the balance is correct.
The general ratio of 1 to 3
1 part acid to 3 parts oil. The ratio varies according to the strength and acidity of the particular vinegar or citrus juice. It is also dependant upon the heaviness of the oil. If the oil is heavy, like a nut oil, or is a high-quality extra virgin olive oil, then one should consider using less oil.

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