Balsamic vinegar or balsamico is considered to be a true delicacy of the Italian cuisine. It’s been used for salad dressings, marinades, stews, sauces, and many other dishes for a long time. And since the second half of the 20th century, it’s become popular around the world. Today, there isn’t a place on the planet where people aren’t using it. People seem to adore its rich taste which comes from grape must, the main ingredient used in the production of balsamic vinegar. Speaking of grapes, the quality of grapes is the main factor that determines the taste and quality of balsamico. And that’s the reason why the best balsamic vinegar is the one coming from the Mediterranean region where top-quality wine grapes are grown.
Italy is considered the best country for growing wine grape used for balsamico. Trebbiano is a sort of grapes that produces the best balsamic vinegar. These grapes can be found only in certain parts of Italy, most notably in the region around the city of Modena. Speaking of which, Modena is the city in which some of the best producers of balsamic vinegar are situated.
So, if you want to buy a top-quality balsamic vinegar, look for those products made in Modena, or at least, in the Reggio Di Emilia region of Italy. Of course, just having a good pedigree doesn’t mean that the vinegar is actually good. If you want the best one, you will have to do a little bit more research. Or, you can let us do it for you? Actually, we’ve already done it. We’ve picked three best balsamic vinegar products you can buy on Amazon.
MiaBella Balsamic Vinegar
This is a traditional balsamic vinegar in a sense that it was made through the same process that’s been used for centuries. It’s made of grapes from the Modena region, which is the world’s epicenter of balsamic vinegar production.
What makes this particular product so great is that it’s made of nothing else either than grape must. There are no other ingredients in this balsamic vinegar. And the same goes for artificial sweeteners, flavor enhancers, food coloring, and so on. This means that MiaBella Balsamic Vinegar is 100% natural non-GMO product.
Of course, because of that fact, the vinegar is not very cheap. Another reason why its price is a bit on the high end is that it’s made by hand in small batches and left to age for several years. Still, the kind of quality you will get from MiaBella Balsamic Vinegar definitely deserves its price tag.
- Genuine Italian balsamic vinegar
- 100% natural
- Traditional recipe
QO Organic Thick Aged Balsamic Vinegar of Modena
Another product made in Italy, this balsamic vinegar is famous for its memorable taste and silky structure. It has acidity of four percent and leaves a kind of sweet taste in your mouth. All of these things make it popular among chefs for preparing gourmet meals.
It comes from Modena and is made according to a centuries’ old recipe. The vinegar is made of nothing but grape, without any artificial ingredients added to speed up the production. Speaking of the production speed, the vinegar is handmade, something which takes a lot of time. And on top of that, the vinegar is placed in wooden barrels to age for a couple of years before going on sale.
What this means is that buying QO Organic Thick Aged Balsamic Vinegar of Modena means getting a premium product that took a lot of time and effort to create.
- Made of grapes from Modena
- 100% natural non-GMO product
- Based on a traditional Italian recipe
- Not a budget option
Giuseppe Giusti – Gran Deposito Aceto Balsamico
Here’s another premium quality product that comes from Modena. Same as the other two, this vinegar is also made according to a traditional recipe. Giusti family has been in the business of making balsamic vinegar for literally centuries. The fact that the company was established back in the 16th century makes Giuseppe Giusti one of the oldest Italian brands.
And same as the other two vinegar products, this one has also been aged. But, unlike the two previous products, this balsamic vinegar has spent a minimum of 12 years in wooden barrels before going on sale. This makes it a truly exclusive item, which explains why its price isn’t too attractive.
- Made by a company that’s been around for four centuries
- Centuries’ old recipe
- 100% natural
Using Balsamic Vinegar to Improve Your Dishes
Most people use balsamic vinegar exclusively as a salad dressing, but there’s some much more you can get from it. You can use Italian balsamic vinegar in a number of dishes coming from the Italian cuisine. Traditionally, Italians have been putting it in sauces for pasta, various soups, and marinades. In some parts of Italy, this vinegar is used as an ice-cream topping.
Does this sound interesting? If so, we’re now going to get in more detail on how to use balsamic to improve your dishes.
- Balsamico for finishing soups – Cold-served soups are usually found on the menu in Italy, especially during summer. And many of them come with added balsamico.
- Balsamico for giving the final touch to sauces – Tomatoes and balsamico are a match made in heaven. And this is the reason why Italians add balsamic vinegar is spaghetti sauces that contain tomato paste, such as Bolognese, for example.
- Balsamico for braised dishes – You can enhance the flavor of braised dishes by sprinkling a few drops of balsamic vinegar over them once they’re cooked.
- Balsamico as a marinade – Considered one of the best choices for marinade, balsamico is often used for red meat, tofu, and mushrooms.
- Balsamico syrup for ice cream – Pouring a cup of balsamico in a saucepan together with a few teaspoons of sugar, then putting it over heat will reduce it to a syrup. When it gets cold, you can use it as ice cream topping.
Thanks to its unique taste, balsamico is loved by cooking enthusiasts. If you love to experiment in the kitchen, balsamic vinegar will inspire you to go on all sorts of new culinary adventures. I also suggest you to look around at the best california olive oil which is also a must have in your healthy kitchen!