Mother of ______!

What. the. hell?!

These were my thoughts when I pulled the following out of my cabinet the other night:

Yes, that is white wine vinegar. Yes, those are monstrous jellyfish aliens inside of the bottle. No, I don’t know how they got there.

OK, well now I do. After a little googling magic, I discovered that these beasts are actually called Mother of Vinegar. According to my friend Wikipedia, it can form in any store bought vinegar if there is any non-fermented sugar and/or alcohol in the bottle. “While not appetizing in appearance, mother of vinegar is completely harmless and the surrounding vinegar does not have to be discarded because of it.” Really, wikipedia? Not appetizing in appearance? You might want to change that to vomit-inducing in appearance, thanks.

Anyway, apparently this mother is totally natural, and I don’t need to worry about it. Still…. I might think twice the next time a recipe calls for white wine vinegar. Ugh.