Traditional Balsamic Vinegar

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- Traditional Balsamic Vinegar -
Get all the details about the most expensive
vinegar of the world.

Balsamic Vinegar FAQ

Does balsamic ...?

Q: Is white vinegar the same as balsamic vinegar?

A: White balsamic vinegar is usually an industrial vinegar. The brown colour comes naturally from years of ageing in the barrel. To speed up the process, many companies use sugar colorant (E150d) to artificially color the transparent, white balsamic vinegar.


Q: What is balsamic vinegar made out of?

A: The traditional balsamic vinegar is made from grapes and has just one ingredient: cooked grape must. The "Aceto Balsamico di Modena" is made from grape must and wine vinegar. All other variations are called "condiments" or balsamic condiments and can produced out of apples (with apple cidar or apple vinegar), elder, peaches, strawberrys, rice, corn and other fruits and substances. All organic things that can be fermented are possible can be the basis for balsamic condiment production.


Q: Is balsamic vinegar gluten free?

A: Yes, real traditional balsamic vinegar D.O.P / P.D.O. is gluten free because it is made just from cooked grape must. Also real balsamic vinegar from Modena I.G.P. / P.G.I. is gluten free. All other balsamic condiments are not regulated and could also contain substances with gluten. So please keep an eye on the label!


Q: Is balsamic vinegar good for your health?

A: Yes. The US National Library of Medicine National Institutes of Health has published some more details about the medcial effects of balsamic vinegar.


Q: What types of grapes are allowed to produce traditional balsamic vinegar?

A: Traditional balsamic vinegar is allowed to made out of the following grapes: Lambrusco, Ancellotta, Trebbiano, Sauvignon blanc, Sgavetta, Berzemino (Marzemino) and Occhio di Gatta - source: Antiche Acetaie


Q: What does balsamic vinegar come from?

A: Balsamic vinegar comes from cooked grape juice and stands for a dark brown, sweet sour, syrup like mostly used as salad dressing. Industrial balsamic vinegar starts at 0.50 cents per 8.4 fl oz and sold on super markets. The original organic balsamic vinegar is much more expensive and sold only in special grocery stores or online. The original "Aceto Balsamico Tradizionale di Modena D.O.P." starts at $50 and the extra old edition (25+ years) starting at $100 for 3.4 fl oz and is sold only in the typical shaped bottles of Modena or Reggio Emilia.


Q: Can you make your own balsamic vinegar?

A: Yes, the simplest way is to mix grape must and wine vinegar together and mature that combination in a small wood barrel. Otherwise you can buy a "mother of vinegar" and make vinegar from red wine. After two weeks you can add grape juice and heat and reduce the mix about 50% add some sugar or honey, that's it.


Q: How much is the most expensive vinegar in the world?

A: $1000.00 / 1.7 fl oz is the most expensive bottle I ever seen in my balsamic history. It was a 150 year old balsamic vinegar from well known acetaie in Modena delivered in a bottle decorated with swarovski crystals. Usually an extra old traditional balsamic is sold at around USD 130.00 / 3.4 fl oz - on special offers like black friday or christmas prices will drop below $100 for an extra vecchio (25+ years). The younger matured traditional balsamic vinegar P.D.O will sold at around USD 70.00.


Q: Is balsamic vinegar and red wine vinegar the same?

A: No, red wine vinegar is made from the "mother of vinegar" with red wine. Acid bacteria will then transform the alcohol into acid. Most of all wine vinegars are not matured and used for cooking. Instead a high end balsamic vinegar is matured over years in small barrels made of different wood types. Balsamic vinegar is more complex in taste and fragrance. Also, real traditional balsamic costs much more.


Q:  Can you drink balsamic vinegar?

A: Sure, the acid is just about 6%. It's not recommend to drink a whole bottle. Real traditional balsamic often used as digestif or aperitif to outbalance the ph value in your body after or before a greasy meal.


Q:  Does balsamic vinegar have sugar?

A: Yes, a lot of. Real traditional balsamic vinegar from Modena D.O.P has between 60 and 75 °Bx - that stands for the sugar concentration on a scale from 0 - 100. Use pure wine vinegar, if you want to consume a vinegar with less sugar than balsamic vinegar.


Q:  Should balsamic vinegar be refrigerated?

A: No, real traditional balsamic vinegar is made in Italy in open barrels and matured for a long time at normal temperature between 50 and 100 °F. Some industrial products made with thickeners or othe food additives should be refrigerated to reach the best before date on the bottles. 


Q: Can I use white vinegar instead of balsamic vinegar?

A: Sure, if it's about the acid, both vinegars have nearly the same acidity. When it comes to tasting aspects, there is a huge difference, so I would say no.


Q: What is golden balsamic vinegar?

A: A golden capsule on a real balsamic vinegar bottle stands for an extravecchio balsamic vinegar from Modena that matured more than 25 years in barrels made of different wood.


Q: What does "affinato" stands for?

A: Affinato is Italian and used to label a traditional balsamic vinegar from Modena PDO matured for at least 12 years. The traditional balsamic vinegar is matured and after a production process lasting at least 12 years, all the routine checks carried out by the Certification Body have been passed and the organoleptic test of the panel of master tasters registered in the Chamber of Commerce of Modena has been passed. It is the youngest TBV product. It can be accompanied by different colors of the seal capsule, generally metallic red but also cream or in some rare special cases in other colors.


Q:What is a good substitute for balsamic vinegar?

A: A condiment made out of other fruits. Like a apple cidar vinegar.


Q: How do you determine the quality of traditional balsamic vinegar?

A: Every producers of traditional balsamic vinegar got a tasting note from the Italian Consortium (verbale di assaggio A.B.T.M). The tasting note describes the basic properties of the vinegar in the following categories: optical impression, olfactory characteristics and the taste characteristics of the bottled lot. of course taste is a matter of opinion, so please try it by your self.


Q:Where exactly is Modena located?

A: Modena is the name of a city in Italy. The city has a population of about 185.000. Also, Modena is the name of the Province of Modena. The Province of Modena is part of the region Emilia-Romagna (map) with other provinces like Reggio Emilia, Parma, Bologna and Rimini. Modena is known for the famous balsamic vinegar, Ferrari and Maserati.


Q: Is there any alcohol in balsamic vinegar?

A: No, usually not. The alcohol value would have to be declared on the bottle if it contained alcohol.


Q: Is balsamic vinegar keto?

A: Not really, balsamic vinegar is dressing or topping to flavour your salad or food. Is made out of sweet grapes that contains a lot of natural sugars. It has a lot of carbs and should be avoid on the diet plan.


Q: Is there an official 50ml bottle of an traditional balsamico vinegar on the market?

A: Not yet, the EU regulatory allow just for the Aceto Balsamico Tradizionale di Reggio Emilia a 50ml bottle edition, but there is (2018) no vendor who actually produce these official bottles. So the answer is no.


Q: Is there a lot of sugar in balsamic vinegar?

A: In industrial produced balsamic vinegars you will find a lot of sugar added to he products. Sometimes it's called not sugar. They call it sucrose, dextrose, glucose, fructose syrup, starch syrup, caramel syrup, lactose, maltose, malt extract, maltodextrin, dextrin or wheat dextrin, sweet whey powder or barley malt extract. Real traditional balsamic vinegar has no additional sugar added, just the natural fructose from the grapes.


Q: Is balsamic vinegar good for weight loss?

A: No, because the natural fructose leads to many calories.


Q: What does "extra vecchio" stand for?

A: Extra vecchio or extravecchio is Italian and stands for a traditional balsamic vinegar matured for at least 25 years. The the seal capsule of the bottle is always gold colored. The term is protected by the producer constorium. TBV products that aged much longer than 25 years also shipped with a gold capsule and will also labeled with "extra vecchio". 


Q: Can you cook with balsamic vinegar?

A: Yes, the good taste of balsamic vingar is lost during the process. Better to use balsamic vinegar for salad dressing, topping or decoration.


Q: Is there a difference between balsamic vinegar and balsamic vinaigrette?

A: Sure, a balsamic vinaigrette is a condiment of different ingredients. The balsamic vinegar, especially the traditional balsamic vinegar is just a pure matured cooked grape juice.


Q: What is the taste of balsamic vinegar?

A: Sweet and sour. If the vinegar tastes too sour, it wasn't a good one. If it is too sweet, then you have either got a really good very old vinegar or sugar or sugar substances have been added to the vinegar.


Q: What can I do with balsamic vinegar?

A: You can use it to flavour your favorit food or salad. Traditional balsamic vinegar is even eaten with ice cream, bisquites or choclate cakes. Professionals enjoy it only pure - drop by drop.


Q: Is all balsamic vinegar vegan?

A: When is comes to real balsamic vinegar, yes. Gelatine of animal origin is used for filtering, when it comes to low quality PGI balsamic vinegar. To be on the safe side, use balsamic vinegar labeled as vegan or buy a PDO balsamic vinegar that has a high density. Vinegars with a high density 1,3+ technically can not filtered with such a methode.


Q: How to store balsamic vinegar?

A: Real traditional balsamic vinegar can stored in the kitchen and dont need to be refrigerated after opening. Just if you bought a discount products from the super markets <$10 then you should read the label what you should do. The reason is, that in real balsamic vinegar, there is nothing included that can become bad. Just in cheap balsamic like products you may have substances that can become bad after opening.


Q: Is balsamic vinegar kosher?

A: Yes, there are some balsamic vinegars for sale, that have a valid kosher certificate. Bonini was the first vinegar maker who was able to get a kosher certificate for the their traditional balsamic vinegar from Modena D.O.P.


Q:  A lobster red colored label on a bottle of traditional balsamic vinegar of Reggio Emilia stand for?

A: The vinegar product has reached at least 240 points out of a max of 400 points from the expert tasters who are responsible concerning the quality standards of this real balsamic vinegar. Also the vinegar matured at least 12 years in typical wood casks.


Q: Is balsamic halal?

A: Balsamic vinegars are classified as halal (????). There are discussion on the community, that balsamic vinegar that is made with wine vinegar is not halal. Try to find balsamic vinegar that is made without wine vinegar, like the real traditional balsamic vinegar that is made just from grape must.


Q: Does balsamic vinegar aged in the bottle?

A: No, the aging process stops in a bottle.


Q: How long is balsamic vinegar good for?

A: If there are no other ingredients than "cooked grape must" like in the original traditional balsamic vinegar, then the balsamic vinegar at least good for 10 years. Traditional balsamic vinegar was formerly used as a preservative and is one of the few foods that does not require a minimum date of stay. Only if the balsamic vinegar contains more than one ingredient then that balsamic vingar may go bad within the first three years. It depends on the sugars and thickener and colouring and of course on the right storage.


Q: Is Balsamic Vinegar high in acid?

A: No, between 3% and 7% acidity is normal. Old balsamic vinegar (25 years+) has less acid than younger. The rules in Italy say that there have to be a acidity of minium 6% for Aceto Balsamico di Modena.