I love balsamic vinegar! I came to really appreciate it when we lived in Italy. I also developed a palate for some very good ones. My students often ask me what to look for when buying one and there really are only a few things to consider…

  • Balsamic from Modena is the best. They developed the age old tradition of producing it and no one does it better.
  • It should have the ‘DOP” symbol on it…like other protected culinary products it should be monitored to abide by the traditional methods and recipes.
  • It should only have the following ingredients listed: cooked grape must and wine vinegar...No caramel, No colour
  • The older, the more intense, sweeter and usually more expensive it is. Different ages have a place in different recipes…for example I would use a younger balsamic in a marinade and an older one served with simple strawberries.

There are many new Balsamic products popping up such as glazes, cremes etc. They are often expensive and many don’t use authentic Balsamic from Modena. You can make your own glaze by just reducing balsamic vinegar yourself.

Balsamic Glaze

1 cup of Balsamic from Modena, DOP, not aged

Pour the balsamic vinegar into a non-stick frying pan and place over high heat. Bring to a boil and then down to simmer. Simmer until desired consistency is reached. Pour into a bowl to cool and then a squirt bottle. Great for a garnish on a salad or dessert that is so delicious….or a pizza to add a bit of sweet & salty!

(pictured on fried mushrooms, recipe in my new cookbook)

There is a whole world of beautiful, authentic, Italian ingredient products that can elevate your dishes to something an Italian Mamma would be proud to serve her family! Follow my weekly Blog here….sign up below to have it delivered right to your inbox every week, and I will share the tips to buying these products as well as recipes and stories of life as an Italian Mamma!

Ciao for now, Natalina

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