The summer season is upon us, the days are getting longer and staying brighter, “al fresco” dining can finally be resumed accompanied with a good glass of chilled Prosecco, antipasti and a balsamic and olive oil dip synonymous of summer.
Most of you at some point in your holidaying to Italy may have come across or savoured Balsamic Vinegar and some lucky ones may have even tried an aged Balsamic. The procedure of the Balsamic vinegar is labour intensive and lengthy affair like a good wine and whisky, this is reflected in the price and some may question the quality of a vinegar that can be bought from a supermarket at a low price, for commercial production white wine vinegar and sugar is added to emulate the traditional vinegar.
Aceto Balsamico di Modena is the most popular and well know of the balsamic world but there are so many variations in different parts of Italy that are yet to be explored. Other varieties of grapes can be used to produce balsamic vinegar, one of them being the Refosco Dal Peduncolo Rosso grape grown only in the Friuli Venezia Giulia region called Elisir di Balsamico.
Using the Refosco Dal Peduncolo Rosso grape, it is boiled in open aired cauldrons to create a reduction, all natural with no added sweetener, it is then passed on to different oak barrels, ranging from French oak to cherry oak to intensify its flavour over the years, it is kept at a constant temperature in a basement under the watchful eye of the producer. The 3 year old balsamic being younger has kept its acidity the consistency is lighter, the 6 year old and the 12 year old are thicker and sweeter almost Port like in taste simply delicious and special.
How to enjoy Balsamic vinegar like an Italian?
To be used on parmesan cheese, grilled steak and eggs, strawberries, pears and ice cream. Pasta dishes and risotto.