Vinegar is a necessary component in potato salad, as it provides a sharp, rich contrast to the otherwise creamy, gentle flavor of potato salad. However, if you add too much vinegar by accident or by using a recipe that isn’t to your liking, you may have to find a way to salvage the potato salad, especially if you need to serve it right away. There are numerous methods for fixing potato salad with too much vinegar, but the one you choose will depend on the particular recipe you are using and what you have on hand.
Add white sugar to the potato salad 1 teaspoon at a time. Stir the potato salad thoroughly each time you add sugar to fully combine the sugar and potato salad. Taste the potato salad after adding each tablespoon of sugar.
Mix in 1/2 teaspoon finely grated lemon zest per 2 cups of potato salad to help remove the vinegar smell. If you prefer, you can use lime or orange zest, depending on personal preference and the potato salad recipe you are using.
Slice two large, peeled white potatoes into quarters and place them in the potato salad. Cover the potato salad with plastic wrap and put it in the refrigerator for eight hours. The raw potatoes will absorb some of the vinegar. Discard the uncooked potatoes before serving the potato salad.
Make an additional portion of the potato salad following the same recipe, but omit the vinegar. Mix the potato salad without vinegar with the other potato salad, stirring it well to combine the two. Taste potato salad and add vinegar very slowly if necessary.
Toss the potato salad with 1 tablespoon of finely minced anchovies per cup of prepared potato salad. The salty, intense flavor of anchovies will reduce the vinegar taste.
If you choose to use the raw potato method, try to work as quickly as possible, as the potatoes in the potato salad recipe will begin to absorb the vinegar as well.
- "Best American Side Dishes: A Best Recipe Classic"; John Burgoyne, Carl Tremblay; 2005
- "Martha Stewart's Cooking School"; Martha Stewart; 2008
Christopher Godwin is a freelance writer from Los Angeles. He spent his formative years as a chef and bartender crafting signature dishes and cocktails as the head of an upscale catering firm. He has since ventured into sharing original creations and expertise with the public. Godwin has published poetry, fiction and nonfiction in publications like "Spork Magazine," "Cold Mountain Review" and "From Abalone To Zest."