Let's Talk BALSAMIC VINEGAR!
Originated from Italy, this condiment is an aromatic, thick, dark, syrup-like aged type of vinegar, prepared by the reduction of cooked grapes. Balsamic vinegar, though popularly referred to as wine vinegar is not made from wine, but is prepared from grape pressings, whose fermentation process has been hindered. The best balsamic vinegar is prepared in the hills of Modena, in Italy, where unique and flavorful balsamic vinegar is formed. This vinegar is known to be a cut above the other types of vinegar. Unlike the sharp taste of vinegar, balsamic vinegar has a rich, sweet flavor.
Italians have been relishing balsamic vinegar for centuries, however, the American palate has been able to savor this only since it was brought to the country in 1978 by Chuck Williams, founder of Williams-Sonoma. Today balsamic vinegar is one of the most popular condiments available in American grocery stores and is used in various sauces, marinades, salad dressings, dips, desserts, etc. The popularity surge of this dark, syrup-like condiment is not only because of its remarkable taste, but balsamic vinegar health benefits also play a major role in adding points to the popularity chart.
Health Benefits of Balsamic Vinegar
Balsamic vinegar retains most of the nutrients present in the parent grapes and comprises nutrients like iron, calcium, potassium, manganese, phosphorus and magnesium in adequate amounts. Thus, incorporating balsamic oil in the daily diet is immensely beneficial!!
Oxidation reactions taking place in the human body to produce energy also bring about cell damaging free radicals as natural by-products. Free radicals damage cell membranes and manifest themselves in terms of premature aging, hardening of arterial walls and cancer. Antioxidants from balsamic vinegar destroy these free radicals and prevent cells from being destroyed.
The grapes from which balsamic vinegar is formed is known to contain a bioflavonoid called quercetin, which has antioxidant properties. Along with vitamin C, this antioxidant strengthens the immune system to fight cancer and other infectious diseases and inflammations. Balsamic vinegar also contains polyphenols which are anticancer agents.
Reduces Risks of Heart Attacks
Balsamic vinegar is low in saturated fat and is believed to reduce cholesterol. Moreover, since it is low in sodium, it enhances heart health and reduces high blood pressure.
Research reveals that consumption of at least 5 teaspoons of balsamic vinegar a day enhances insulin sensitivity. The greater the insulin sensitivity, the better the diabetes control.
Natural Pain Reliever
In ancient times, folk healers used this vinegar to relieve people of their body pain. Moreover, they also used balsamic vinegar to treat wounds and infections. The anti- bacterial and anti-viral properties in the vinegar healed wounds.
The polyphenols in balsamic vinegar stimulate the activity of pepsin enzyme in the body. Pepsin is a digestive enzyme, which helps break proteins into smaller units (amino acids). Moreover, these polyphenols also assist the intestine in absorbing amino
acids expeditiously. Efficient amino acid absorption enables the body to utilize it for cell building, repair and other body maintenance work. Thus, balsamic vinegar aids the digestion process.
And that’s not all!!!
Besides these balsamic vinegar health benefits, this vinegar also reduces the frequency of headache inceptions, strengthens bones (calcium absorption), energizes the body, slows down aging process and prevents anemia. It also helps in weight loss by suppressing one's appetite.
*Authentic balsamic vinegar would have been aged for a minimum period of 3 years to a
maximum period of 100 years. The longer the aging process, the finer the vinegar
quality. However, commercially produced balsamic vinegar produced in a few hours is
often what you find in most stores.
Frequently asked questions
What is the shelf life of your balsamic vinegars?
We recommend 5 years. The acidity in the vinegar acts as a natural
preservative. We suggest to use within 5 years to obtain the best flavor profile.
Vinegars do not really expire they simply becomes more acidic causing a change of
appearance and flavor.
What is the difference between White Balsamic and Dark Balsamic?
Dark Balsamic Vinegar is made with Trebbiano grapes and on occasion with some
Lambrusco grape must. The balsamic undergoes cooking and caramelizing in a copper
kettle over an open wood fire before being aged the traditional Solera Method -
Modena, Italy. The balsamic is placed in old wood barrels that previously held older
batches of aged balsamic vinegar. These barrels, similar to wine barrels, are made from
different woods including oak, chestnut, acacia, cherry, mulberry, ash and juniper.
These woods add character to the vinegar.
White Balsamic Vinegar is made by blending white grape must with 100% Italian
barreled aged white wine vinegar, both made from Albana, Trebbiano and Montuni
grapes which grow exclusively in the region of Modena, Italy. The traditionally cooked
grape must is then lightly filtered to remove any skins from the cooked must and is
placed into new white oak barrels for aging. The white balsamic condimento is less
complex and has not been caramelized over an open wood fire in copper kettles, as the
dark condimento has been.
What exactly is “must?”
Must is freshly crushed fruit juice that contains the skins, seeds, and stems of the
fruit. Must is thick, opaque, and comes in various shades of brown and purple. The solid
portion of the must is called pomace and typically makes up 7–23% of the total weight
of the must.
What is the "Mother" in balsamic vinegar?
Mother of vinegar- also called Mycoderma aceti (a New Latin expression, from the
Greek μὑκης (fungus) plus δἐρμα (skin), and the Latin aceti (of the acid) - is a
substance composed of a form of cellulose and acetic acid bacteria that develops on
fermenting alcoholic liquids, which turns alcohol into acetic acid with the help of oxygen
from the air. It is added to wine, cider, or other alcoholic liquids to produce vinegar.
Mother of vinegar can also form in store-bought vinegar if there is some non-
fermented sugar and/or alcohol contained in the vinegar. While not appetizing in
appearance, mother of vinegar is completely natural, harmless, and the surrounding
vinegar does not have to be discarded because of it. It can be filtered out using a
coffee filter, used to start a bottle of vinegar, or simply left in and ignored.
Is there added sugar in your balsamic vinegars?
No - the sugar found in the balsamic vinegars are natural sugars from the fruit. We
do no not add any artificial colors, artificial flavors, ingredients, or preservatives to our
products. All our products are ALL NATURAL!!
Are your balsamic vinegars Gluten Free?
Yes - All our balsamic vinegars are gluten free.
Are your balsamic vinegars Dairy Free?
Yes - All our balsamic vinegars are dairy free.
Are your balsamic vinegars Vegan?
Yes - they are both Dairy Free and Vegan.
Are your balsamic vinegars Kosher?
No - our balsamic vinegars are not Kosher certified.
Do your Balsamic Vinegar's contain soy lecithin?
No, they are soy free as stated in our allergen statement. This applies to both the
White and the Dark Balsamic Vinegar's.
Are your balsamic vinegars pasteurized?
No - our balsamic vinegars are unpasteurized therefore contain antimicrobial
compounds, acetic acid, and antioxidants.
What are natural sulfites (found in Balsamic Vinegar)?
Natural sulfites develop naturally as a by-product of fermentation. Sulfites are
chemical compounds found in nature. They preserve food and prevent bacterial growth.
Naturally occurring sulfites are generated in very small amounts ranging from 6-40 ppm.
Can you define what natural flavor is on the ingredients?
Natural flavors are derived from the fruit/ herb themselves - botanical essential oils.
Does your Espresso Balsamic Vinegar contain caffeine?
No, there is not caffeine in the product, flavoring comes from botanical essential oils.