Balsamic Vinegar Info
About Balsamic Vinegar
Balsamic vinegar is thick and sweet, made from the pure, unfermented juice of a grape called the "must." Although different varieties of grapes can be used to create balsamic vinegar, the Trebbiano grape, native to Modena, Italy, is the gold standard. Less than 3,000 gallons of genuine balsamic vinegar made in the Tradizionale method are released each year, all of it made in Modena, a historic town just west of Bologna, or in nearby Reggio Emilia. All of the balsamic vinegars sold at Twisted Olive are from Modena.
The process of making balsamic vinegar begins by boiling the grape juice until it becomes a thick, sweet syrup. It is then transferred to wooden barrels to start the aging process. Bacteria are added, which oxidizes the juice and turns it into vinegar. This can take from 6 months to several years. Manufacturers of gourmet balsamic vinegar have their own processes and formulas for aging the vinegar, moving it from one type of wood barrel to another to create its own signature flavor. Some of the woods commonly used to make the barrels include ash, cherry, oak, juniper and chestnut.
How to use Balsamic Vinegar
Balsamic vinegar can be used to add depth of flavor to salad dressings, pairing especially well with olive oil. It is a healthful marinade for meat and fish and a flavorful accent to grilled vegetables such as eggplant, zucchini, and bell peppers. Because it provides similar flavoring, it is often used as a replacement for cooking wines. Balsamic vinegar can be used just about anywhere to add a touch of sweetness. It is wonderful drizzled over ice cream or fruit.
Balsamic vinegar does not deteriorate after opening because oxygen is part of the aging process. So treasure your best bottle and use it on special occasions – there’s no rush!
Twisted Olive Balsamic Vinegars
Our selection of Balsamic Vinegars includes the following flavors, all from Modena, Italy. Please check with us to see which varieties are currently in stock: