Discover a tantalizing depth of flavour with our range of unique balsamic vinegars. Bold and rich, with a natural sweetness that elevates any dish. Experience a powerful burst of flavour with every mouthful and tantalize your taste buds like never before!Read more about Balsamic Vinegars
Discover a tantalizing depth of flavour with our range of unique balsamic vinegars. Bold and rich, with a natural sweetness that elevates any dish. Experience a powerful burst of flavour with every mouthful and tantalize your taste buds like never before!
Balsamic vinegar is a dark, concentrated vinegar that originates from Modena and the Reggio Emilia regions of Italy. It is made from pressed grape juice that is simmered until it thickens and reduces, which is then aged in wooden barrels for several years. This ageing process gives balsamic vinegar its distinctive flavour and aroma, which is rich, sweet, and slightly acidic. The longer the vinegar is aged, the more rounded it becomes, its flavour intensifies and the thicker it becomes.
25 year old Balsamic Vinegar
It is worth noting that there are different types of balsamic vinegar, including traditional and commercial varieties. Traditional balsamic vinegar is made using only grape must and is aged for a minimum of 12 years, while commercial balsamic vinegars are often made with added ingredients and are aged for shorter periods of time.
Balsamic vinegar has a long and rich history which dates back to the Middle Ages. Its production was initially a family tradition, with each family having their own secret recipe and ageing process. It was considered a luxury item and was often given as a gift to friends and family.
In the 18th century, balsamic vinegar gained popularity among European royalty and aristocrats, who appreciated its unique flavour and aroma. During this time, the vinegar began to be produced on a larger scale, and the ageing process was refined to produce a more consistent and high-quality product.
In the 20th century, the production of balsamic vinegar became more commercialized, and the product became more widely available. Today, balsamic vinegar is a popular ingredient in kitchens around the world, and many people consider it to be a staple of Italian cuisine.
Balsamic vinegar is made from the juice of White Trebbiano grapes (also known as ugni blanc), which are a grape variety native to Italy, and are some of the most widely planted grapes in the world. The grapes are harvested and pressed to extract the juice, which is called "must". This must is then cooked over an open flame until it is reduced by about half, that helps to concentrate its flavours.
Trebbiano grapes (ugni blanc)
After the must has been reduced, it is transferred to wooden barrels to age. Traditional balsamic vinegar is aged in a series of barrels made from different types of wood, such as oak, cherry, chestnut, or juniper. Each barrel imparts its own unique flavour to the vinegar as it ages. The ageing process can take anywhere from a few years to several decades, depending on the desired flavour and thickness of the vinegar. During this time, the vinegar is carefully monitored and moved between barrels to ensure that it is ageing properly. As the vinegar ages, it becomes thicker and more syrupy, and its flavour becomes more complex and intense. The final product is a dark, concentrated vinegar that is rich in flavour and aroma.
A set of wooden barrels for Ageing Balsamic Vinegar
It's important to note that traditional balsamic vinegar is made using only grape must, without any added ingredients such as wine vinegar or caramel. Commercial balsamic vinegar, on the other hand, may contain these and other additional ingredients and may be aged for a shorter period of time.
Balsamic vinegar has a wide range of culinary uses and can be used in both sweet and savoury dishes. Here are some common ways to use balsamic vinegar:
Salad dressings: Balsamic vinegar makes a delicious and flavourful salad dressing. Simply whisk it together with olive oil, salt, and pepper, or mix it with honey or Dijon mustard for added sweetness or tang.
Marinades: Balsamic vinegar can be used to marinate meat, fish, or vegetables to infuse them with flavour. Mix it with olive oil, garlic, herbs, and spices for a tasty marinade.
Sauces: Balsamic vinegar can be used to make a variety of sauces, such as reduction sauces, glazes, and pan sauces. It pairs well with roasted meats, vegetables, and fruit.
Dips and spreads: Balsamic vinegar can be used as a dipping sauce for bread, vegetables, or cheese. It also makes a tasty spread when mixed with cream cheese or goat’s cheese.
Drizzled over food: Balsamic vinegar can be drizzled over roasted vegetables, grilled meats, cheese, fruit for added flavour.
Other uses: Add it to soups for a deep hit of savoury flavour and an acid pickup. Drizzle it over ice-cream (trust us)
When using balsamic vinegar, it's important to use it sparingly, as it has a strong flavour and can easily overpower other ingredients.
Tart balsamic vinegar poured over sweet Strawberries