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Gourmet Oil and Vinegar

Gourmet Oil and Vinegar

Balsamic and Cooking

modena balsamic vinegarBalsamic vinegar cooking condiment. The true Aceto Balsamico Tradizionale is very expensive because of its rarity. This has led to the production of commercial vinegar for practical cooking use. Authentic balsamic vinegar can cost upwards of $110 for a 3 ounce bottle. It is possible to enjoy a similar flavor at reasonable rates but locating a good bottle of commercial balsamic vinegar can be difficult. The price of balsamic vinegar has a wide range – it is possible to get a 750 ml bottle for as little as $4, but these are nothing more than industrial balsamic imitations. Villa Bellentani and Masserie di Sant’Erame of Modena offer some of the best selections of fine artisan style balsamico at reasonable pricing and availability.

Each bottle of balsamic vinegar will have a different taste. Some are sweet, some are sweet and sour, viscous with woody overtones while others may be bitter, acidic or caramel flavored. However, the bottles on the shelf do not describe their actual taste. The authentic aceto balsamico can be recognized by the Italian consortium approval seal on the label and the price tag of over $110 for 3 ounces.Fine balsamic vinegar is judged on the basis of the number of years it has been aged. Unfortunately, Italian government ministerial decrees do not permit printing the age on the label in years. But, some do make age claims that more often than not, are misleading. A ’12 year old’ vinegar can mean that only a few drops of 12 year old vinegar was added to the bottle or that the starter must was only begun 12 years ago. The ultimate test of quality balsamico is taste and not the age.The authentic Aceto Balsamico Tradizionale is regarded as a seasoning and a condiment rather than a type of vinegar by gourmet chefs and connoisseurs. As it is extremely expensive and has a strong flavor, it is used sparingly, in fact, treasured to be used on special occasions for delicacies. It is only added after cooking, as heat ruins its aromatic qualities.

For culinary purposes, the best varieties are artisan style balsamico made traditionally, but aged for a shorter period of time. These vinegars are high quality commercial balsamics that are made from cooked grape must blended with aged wine and artisan vinegars.The difference in taste of balsamico is due to the different ages, variety of wooden ageing casks, etc. One has to sample the vinegar to select what works best as personal preference is vital. Some vinegars have a fruity start with an acidic finish with an overall velvety woody flavor. The younger varieties have more taste and hence need to be correctly balanced with the other cooking ingredients. Nevertheless, fine balsamic vinegar always has a well balanced sweet and sour zing to it. Just a dash of good balsamico can transform an ordinary dish to a flavorful and appealing one. Since balsamic vinegar is such a culinary delight, store it correctly in a glass container in a cool and dark place to get maximum benefits. balsamic vinegar, balsamic cooking, balsamico, Masserie, balsamic vinegar




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