Balsamic vinegar is a traditional product of Italy dating back as far as 1046 made from the juice of newly harvested grapes boiled down to about 30% of the original volume to create a concentrate. This is then fermented through a slow aging process that concentrates flavours which intensify over years. The vinegar is stored in oak casks and fermented for up to 25 years.
I believe the Balsamic Vinegars we get today may not be the “real traditional” deal as it has been quoted that a true traditional Balsamic Vinegar can cost between $150-$400US for 100ml. We certainly don’t pay that much!!!
How do we use it?
Balsamic vinegar is a popular choice for salad dressings and a staple ingredient in our pate’. Balsamic is also useful for deglazing pans or to add flavour in braised meat dishes. It is great for marinating meat or to flavour soups and sauces. Balsamic can also go beautifully when reduced to a syrup, drizzled over ice-cream and or fresh strawberries.
Where do we buy it?
The common brands we use are Absolute Organic, Spiral and Gourmet Organic. Some of these are available in local Health Food Stores, Organic Grocery Stores, Co-ops & IGA stores.