For the preparation of Balsamic Vinegar, an understanding of the ingredients better is necessary. The preparatory process involves aging the un-fermented Trebbiano grape for decades in different kinds of small barrels, each made of a different wood such as cherry, chestnut, mulberry, cacia, juniper and ash. With each passing year, a particular amount of the vinegar evaporates, following which the reduced vinegar is transferred into a smaller barrel made of a different wood. A new flavor is induced in the vinegar with the use of each different wood. With time and with age, the vinegar becomes concentrated, thick, dark and sweet. However, despite the fact that Balsamic Vinegar is a reduction prepared from grapes, it cannot be considered a wine vinegar since the grapes used in its preparation are un-fermented.
Cooks across the world uses Balsamic Vinegar in a number of dishes to boost their tastes and flavors remarkably.
As a cook, if you are trying to prepare and experiment with exotic Balsamic Vinegar recipes, here are some basic information that can help you use this rich and flavorful condiment better and in more innovative ways.
1.Based on age, Balsamic Vinegar can be distinguished under three different categories, with their uses being different as well. The category comprising balsamic Vinegar on the lowest age group, which is 3 to 5 years, are ideal for use in salad dressings, sauces and marinades and dipping sauces for bread and vegetables.
2. The vinegar on the middle age group, which is 6 to 11 years, is more versatile and can be used in a wide array of dishes and in numerous ways. The possible likes are risotto and pasta dishes, as a sandwich condiment mixed with mayonnaise or sour cream, in sauces used at the end of cooking and more.
3. And the last category that comprises the most aged Balsamic Vinegar fermented for 12 to 150 + years, is best used at the end of cooking and in mild dishes. It has its own rich taste and flavor that loses its value when added to something spicy or heavily seasoned. It can be used wonderfully to add flavor to chicken, fish, meat or veal. This well-aged vinegar is also used as a superb beverage when added in little amount to water.
by Peter Thronton