See also vinegar.
Authentic balsamic vinegar is a syrupy reduction of sugary grapes. Following fermentation and cooking, vinegar “mother” is incorporated and the aging process begins. As the liquid moves from barrel to barrel, it acquires the scent from the different woods used to make each cask. Modena, Italy, is the famous region where this fashionable vinegar is made.
Commercial products are readily available. They will not have the flavor or consistency of true balsamics, but some are very good and more affordable.
Store in a glass container with a proper seal. Balsamics can become tainted by odors; keep separated from aromatic foods.
Think of balsamic vinegar as a concentrate. A little goes a very long way. The older the vinegar, the less you should use. Often, a few drops are enough.
Serve artisan quality vinegars at the table. When cooking, use commercial products. There is a wide range of flavors among mass-produced balsamics, so don’t be disappointed if a particular taste is not to your liking. Keep looking until you find a brand with just the right intensity.
View BigOven's balsamic-vinegar recipes