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Gourmet Oil and Vinegar

Gourmet Oil and Vinegar

Archive for the Category 'Balsamic Vinegar'

Modena Aceto Balsamico Villa Bellentani Balsamic Vinegar

Thursday, March 22nd, 2007

Villa Bellentani, Balsamic Vinegar of Modena Villa Bellentani of Modena Italy, produces balsamic vinegars that are classed in a gourmet category of their own. These balsamic vinegars are unlike other aged vinegars made simply from wine. Villa Bellentani balsamic vinegar make exquisite gourmet gifts.select item

Modena Aceto Balsamico

Villa Bellentani balsamic vinegar represents the essence of commerce which made Modena a capital city. The traditional balsamic producers, or Acetifici Italiani, have understood after 400 years, a need to preserve Italy’s family traditions and heritage of genuine balsamico production. They wish to preserve Modena balsamic vinegar, which has already been adulterated and corrupted by vinegar producers who do not follow authentic tradition. For centuries, the world of authentic Italian aged balsamic vinegar is one of respect for the history and traditions of the trade.

Modern food production and technology processes are in compliance with the most recent European and international regulations (HACCP-ISO-CE). These measures assure the production of a kind of balsamico vinegar which comes from the Modena locale, in cooperation with generations of handed down family aged traditions.

A philosophy of life helped inspire the building of the beautiful villa in Carpi (now an Italian national historic monument) of the Eighteenth century Bellentani family. The Villa in Carpi structure, with its architectural design and frescos have made Villa Bellentani integral with balsamic heritage. The villa is an inspiration for perfection in the production of balsamico vinegars. Villa Bellentani balsamico is a true taste of Italy. They produce authentic balsamic vinegar from centuries of experience, which shows in the pride they have for the balsamic vinegar made at their facility.

Modena Aceto Balsamico Aged Balsamic Vinegar

Villa Bellentani balsamic vinegar has a very dark, rich color. This is the result of the long, natural aging process which is carefully regulated by the balsamico vinegar master. The balsamico ages for years in small wooden casks, and will become darker over time. The consistency of the balsamic vinegar becomes thicker and eventually the viscosity is like that of syrup.

Villa Bellentani flavor and balsamic production cannot be imitated by amateur producers whose only concern is keeping the price low. Villa Bellentani balsamic vinegar is a superior balsamic quality that exceeds the final customers highest expectations. Villa Bellentani balsamic vinegar mellows, enriches and blends the taste of numerous foods, while stimulating the palate with a complex flavors and aroma. Gourmet chefs will use it in small amounts, as quality balsamic vinegar will enhance but not overwhelm the flavors in delicate gourmet dishes.

 

Simple Masserie Balsamic Vinaigrette

Friday, April 21st, 2006

Balsamic Vinaigrette Recipe

  • 1/2 cup Modena balsamic vinegar
  • 1/2 cup delicate extra-virgin olive oil
  • 2 tablespoons raw honey
  • 2 cloves garlic, peeled an crushed in a garlic press
  • pinch of dried red pepper finely grated
  • 1 tablespoon Tamari soy sauce

In a food processor or blender (at a low speed), mix together Masserie balsamic vinegar, soy sauce, honey, garlic, and grated red pepper. Add olive oil in a thin stream, while blender is running. This way you will mix the oil and vinegar which are two liquids that normally would not combine easily.

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Modena Aceto Balsamico Balsamic Vinegar On Desserts

Thursday, October 02nd, 2014

Modena Aceto Balsamico Balsamic Vinegar

Aceto Balsamico From Modena Has Been The Best Balsamic Vinegar For Centuries

Modena Balsamic Vinegar is great on desserts and pastries as a topping. Ice cream, cakes, and other novelties can also be well flavored with Italian Aceto Balsamico balsamic vinegar. Cake and pastry making, as we know it, began with the Italians. The gastronomic arts developed at the same time that the city state of Venice was at its peak of power. Venetians were rich, the richest group of people in all of Europe, and they turned their minds to fine foods and wines. Banquets held in l8th-century Venice were remarkable affairs that went on for hours, occasionally even for days. The marriage of the children of two prosperous families of Venice was an occasion that brought forth displays of the greatest skills of the cooks and chefs of the city.

Modena Balsamic Aceto Balsamico Brought Kitchen Specialty Chefs Into Existence

It was during this period, for the first time, that specialists in the kitchen arts first appeared. The first meat chefs, the first cake makers came into being at that time, for so involved had the culinary art of Italy become, that only specialists could hope to create the complicated creations which Venetians expected. Cake making is still regarded in Italy as a fine art, calling for the utmost devotion by its practitioners. Any person, man or woman, with a light hand in pastry-making is highly regarded by his neighbors.

Balsamic Vinegar Certification

Tuesday, January 14th, 2014

Certified traditional balsamic vinegar can only be produced in the Reggio Emilia or Modena regions of Italy. By using a screening taste testing panel of judges, both regions of Italy protect and preserve the reputation of authentic aceto balsamico, called Balsamic Vinegar in English. There are two grades of balsamic vinegar, one is aged for 12 years and is called tradizionale, and the other is called extravecchio which is aged for at least 25 years. These special vinegars are bottled in premier trademark glass bottles and stated with an official label of where they were made. These vinegars are aged in wood barrels and are not adulterated or mass produced. Certified balsamic vinegar always has the seal that reads “Aceto Balsamico Di Modena.”

Modena Balsamic Vinaigrette Cipolline Marinade

Monday, January 06th, 2014

Aceto Balsamico Marinated Cipolline Recipe

  • Four cups Modena Balsamic Vinegar
  • Four cups white wine vinegar
  • Three and one half tablespoons brown sugar
  • Three and one half tablespoons granulated sugar
  • Sprinkle of Sea salt
  • Two pound one and one half inch diameter cipolline onions

Cut and peel open the onions, then get out a large pot, fill it with water, and bring it to a rolling boil. Pour in the sea salt, granulated sugar, onions, and the wine vinegar. Let sit at a boil for 3 minutes.

In a medium saucepan blend in the balsamic vinegar together with the brown sugar. Using medium heat, let the sugar dissolve without boiling.

Remove the onions and divide them up into five separate pint glass jars. Pour the heated balsamic vinegar over the onions as dressing, inside the jars. Seal the jars and keep in the refrigerator for one month. The balsamic vinegar preserves the onions for a later date and it then can be had for a unique, gourmet appetizer.

Vinaigrette Salad Dressing

Saturday, October 18th, 2008

Vinaigrette Dressing: Adding A Touch of Zest to Any Salad

It’s definitely easy and fun to put together various fruits and vegetables to make an interesting and superb salad. But what is really mind boggling in the end is the dressing… what dressings go best with the salads we’ve put together.

Different dressings go best with different types of salad. For example, a mango and shrimp salad on Boston lettuce with avocado, red pepper, and cilantro would taste great with a dressing of olive oil, peanut butter, soy sauce, lime juice, and jalapeño pepper. How about a salad of spinach, capers, and hard boiled eggs with onions and feta cheese? A blueberry dressing would provide the perfect accompaniment to this salad mix. A lemon dill dressing would be the perfect match to a salad of hard boiled eggs, beets, blanched green beans, cucumbers, and yellow and red tomatoes on green leaves. Finally, a romaine and strawberry salad goes really well with a sweet molasses dressing.

If we stretch our imagination and creativity a little, the dressings we make at home for our salads can become innovative and interesting. Salad dressing is easy to make, as most of them have oil and vinegar as their base ingredients, with salt and a little spice. A sweet ingredient is also often added to the mix to round off its flavor. Given this base, the possibilities for new dressings are endless.

 

Here are some dressings you may want to try at home.

Blue cheese dressings are great with loose-leaf lettuce, such as a Boston lettuce. For a blue cheese dressing, you will need:

  • 3 egg yolks
  • 1 tablespoon Dijon mustard
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • Juice of half a lemon
  • ½ cup olive oil
  • 1 cup vegetable oil, or canola oil
  • 1/3 cup blue cheese
  • 1 tablespoon fresh sage, minced

In a small pan, heat the olive oil over a medium flame (about 140 degrees). Next, mix the egg yolks and mustard in a blender for about 20 seconds. Add the salt and the lemon and blitz for another few seconds. Run the blender at a slow speed and slowly blend in the heated olive oil. One it has been fully incorporated into the mixture, add the canola or vegetable oil until it is well blended. Pour this mixture into a serving container and mix in the crumbled blue cheese and sage.

A blueberry dressing works best with simple green salad without tomatoes. For blueberry dressing, you will need:

  • 1 cup frozen blueberries, thawed
  • 1 tablespoon brown sugar
  • ¼ cup rice wine vinegar
  • 1/3 cup extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 teaspoon mint, chopped
  • Salt and black pepper to taste

Simply combine all the ingredients into a Mason jar, or similar container, and shake vigorously to combine.

A sweet and sour Dijon dressing would work great with a salad of shredded Brussell sprouts. You will need:

  • ½ cup cider vinegar
  • 1 cup brown sugar
  • Juice of 1 lemon
  • 3 cloves garlic, minced
  • 3 tablespoons Dijon mustard
  • Salt and balck pepper to taste
  • ¾ cup extra virgin olive oil

Using a medium sized saucepan, combine the vinegar, sugar, lemon juice, and garlic. Bring this to a simmer for about two minutes to cook the garlic. Once simmered through and garlic has cooked, whisk in the mustard, salt and pepper, and olive oil. Transfer your dressing to a container and it is ready to serve.

 

 

 

The Exquisite Gift of Balsamic

Friday, October 03rd, 2008

Gift of Balsamic Vinegar

In the year 1046, Marquess Bonifacio, Sir of the Canossa castle, presented Emperor Enrico III of Franconia with a bottle of balsamic vinegar. This gift was the first documented reference to the precious elixir so valued by cooks today.

During the Middle Ages, balsamic vinegar served medicinal purposes and was reputed to be a magical cure for problems ranging from sore throats to labor pains.  Balsamic vinegar also found use as an effective disinfectant.  Today, it is still a thoughtful and well-received offering, and is often given as a housewarming gift.

We have centuries of family tradition and expertise to thank for the balsamic vinegar we find today in the aisles of gourmet food shops.  The finest of this vinegar is said to have originated in Modena, Italy, and even today the most renowned balsamic vinegar is produced only in Modeana and Reggio, Italy. Some believe the first batch was the result of a small amount of cooked grapes, or “must,” spilled and forgotten.  Over time, a natural acetification, or conversion to acetic acid or vinegar, occurred and the aged vinegar captured food-lovers with its distinctive sweet and sour taste.

Over the years, research and scientific improvement have perfected the complex production process of balsamic vinegar. The Trebbiano variety of grape is preferred for red, and the Spergola for white sauvignon.  The unfermented juice, or “must” of the grapes is cooked slowly in copper pots over open direct flame until the liquid is reduced by half and one is left with the thick and fruity syrup.  A slimy substance forms over the vinegar surface, named “Mother” of vinegar, it is a combination of yeast and bacteria. Sometimes older aged balsamic vinegar is added to assist in the acetification process.

To earn the label “balsamic vinegar” in Italy, a minimum period of 12 years of aging is required.  Barrels used for the aging process may be crafted only of certain woods including oak, cherry, mulberry, ash, acacia and juniper.  Each type of wood adds its own nuance to the taste as the vinegar is changed into increasingly smaller barrels during the process.  It is important to know the quality of the vinegar if you are giving it as a gourmet gift. Balsamic vinegars off the shelf with no such label have usually spent between six months and one year in stainless steel tanks.   They may also have aged in wooden casks from two to 12 years.   If not labeled “traditionale”, you might be buying a mixture of vinegar, syrup and other additives.  These are the bottles you might find in prepackaged gift baskets. At 12 years, the vinegar is labeled “traditional”.  Over 25 years of aging produces vinegar able to be called “Extra Vecchio.”   A consortium governing body (similar to those that label French and Italian wines) decides what quality the vinegar can be labeled.

gift of balsamic, balsamic vinegar

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Balsamic Topped Strawberries

Friday, September 26th, 2008

A Unique, Healthy, and Tasty Dessert

Everyone loves desserts, so you shouldn’t let their unhealthiness stop you from eating them. Instead, you can create your own delectable, low-calorie dessert right in your own kitchen. Such low-calorie desserts are especially great for mothers, who, according to research, are overweight more often than not. Even if yours is not among the over 50 percent of mothers who are currently at risk for diabetes, help your mom stay healthy by preparing healthy desserts for her to enjoy.

Because fruits are both sweet and a healthy choice, these are great for desserts. Strawberries, in particular, possess a delicious sweet taste. Strawberries topped with balsamic vinegar may seem like an odd combination, but this is actually quite a mouthwatering treat. In fact, once you try topping your strawberries with balsamic vinegar, you’ll never find the need to use sugar.

Instead of taking your mom out to dinner this Mother’s Day, prepare this tasty balsamic-topped strawberries dessert for her. She’ll surely remember it for years to come as a dessert that is both flavorful and good for her health.

A recipe for homemade balsamic vinegar is listed below. If you opt to buy store-bought brands, go for Villa Bellentani Gran Reserva Balsamic. This vinegar has an exquisite and complex aroma, a dense and syrupy consistency, and a rich taste that makes it perfect for drizzling over strawberries.

Preparing a Homemade Balsamic Topping

To create a delicious balsamic topping, bring the balsamic vinegar to a boil. Let it simmer until its viscosity is reduced to a thin syrup and the vinegar has a sweet taste. The vinegar should be reduced to less than half of its original volume. This process is called reduction or what some refer to as “boiling down.”

Featuring a taste much bolder than apple cider, authentic balsamic vinegar is made from grapes. It is the result of years of aging in wooden barrels. The barrels actually have a great influence on the final taste of the vinegar. The finest, and most expensive, balsamic vinegar comes from the province of Modena in Italy.

Cheaper versions of the Modena-made balsamics are available as traditional brown-colored balsamic or white at local grocery stores. Try which of the two you like best. Dark balsamic vinegar is great with strawberries as explained above. You can even add a dash of pepper to this dessert for added flavor. Aside from being a great dessert topping, balsamic vinegar can be used on all types of vegetables, like cauliflower, asparagus, squash, and also on fish.

Fresh Strawberries in Balsamic Vinegar Reduction

1 cup balsamic vinegar (white balsamic if desired)
2 tablespoons sugar
2 cups ripe red strawberries

Using a saucepan that won’t react to the vinegar, combine the vinegar and sugar. Constantly stirring the mixture, bring the ingredients to a boil. Once the sugar dissolves, reduce the heat and let the mixture simmer for about 20 minutes, while you stir occasionally. Be careful, as the vinegar can scorch if left unattended. You want the vinegar to turn into a thick syrup. Once it does, remove it from the heat and leave to cool.

As for the strawberries, wash, dry, and slice the strawberries, preferably with an ulu knife. Place the strawberries in a bowl. Pour 2 tablespoons of the balsamic reduction your created over the strawberries. Gently stir the berries together with the reduction using a plastic spatula. Refrigerate the dish for one hour.

To serve your strawberry dessert, place the strawberries in a dessert saucer and garnish with fresh mint. You now have a unique, flavorful, and low-calorie dessert perfect for Mother’s Day or any special occasion.

balsamic strawberries dessert

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Modena Balsamic Vinegar

Monday, April 30th, 2007

modena balsamic vinegarVilla Bellentani Aceto VSQP 8.5 oz

Italian Balsamic vinegar. Balsamico Estate produced. Villa Bellentani Balsamico di Modena 8.5 ounces Aceto VSQP. Black Label, (250 ml) Very Special Quality Product is a 12 year aged balsamic vinegar produced in Modena Italy. Dark colored and a full consistence.

Aceto Balsamico di Modena. Black Label – “Very Special Quality Product” (V.S.Q.P.)

This vinegar, mature and rich in flavor is aged for 12 years in small casks made of fine antique woods. This aging process creates a dense, pleasantly sweet syrup in which the flavors of the fruit and woods is discernable. The unique and delicate flavor make it a wonderful taste for oil and vinegar dressings or a treat which can be enjoyed on simple foods like ice cream or fresh strawberries.

Modena Villa Bellentini Aceto VSQP is syrupy sweet with only a hint of vinegar tartness. Aged gourmet balsamic vinegar is ideal in oil and vinegar recipes. This gourmet condiment is used as a dessert topping, drizzled over fresh fruits, ice creams or cakes.

Price $22.45

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Masserie Balsamic Vinegar of Modena

Saturday, March 31st, 2007

Masserie Balsamic Vinegar

Masserie di Sant’Eramo Balsamic Vinegar of Modena
Aceto Balsamico di Modena Acidity 6%
Product of Italy with Produzione Certificata

masserie balsamic vinegarMasserie balsamic vinegar of Modena is made following centuries old methodology. Vine ripe red grapes are cooked to a concentrated red grape must. Aged wine vinegar accompanies the grape must while being aged in prized wooden casks in temperature sensitive environments.

Masserie balsamic vinegar is ideal for most culinary purposes. This artisan style balsamic condiment is made in the traditional method and aged as a high quality vinegar. Masserie di Sant’Eramo balsamic vinegar is one of the cook’s best choices when a gourmet recipe calls for balsamico as an ingredient.

The slow ripening of the grapes add to the body of the grape must reduction. The long aging process produces a condiment unlike ordinary wine vinegars. Masserie balsamic vinegar differs from the other wine vinegars because of the intense aroma, rich flavor, and intriguing contrast between sourness and naturally sweet undertones. A splash or extra drizzle of this quality balsamic vinegar is usually enough to give any salad or side dish an extraordinary taste and depth.

Aceto balsamico is used sparingly as a seasoning accoutrement. When added to a meat marinade it helps tenderize and flavor either poultry or red meat cuts. Balsamic vinegar can add a lift to soups, and a sparkle to both pasta and garden green salads. Enjoy an olive oil cruet filled with extra virgin olive oil as a bread dipping sauce or Masserie balsamic vinegar on the table to drizzle on top of a cooked dish.

Serve with crusty bread and fresh sliced tomatoes as an appetizer. Fresh vegetables can be steamed crisp and served with a drizzle of Masserie balsamic vinegar and coarse grained sea salt for seasoning.

Thinking of giving a bottle of wine for a housewarming or hostess gift? As a gourmet gift, Masserie di Sant’Eramo balsamic vinegar makes a better impression than the conventional bottle of Chardonnay, and will last much longer too. Especially combined with a unique handblown cruet

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