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.
What is the shelf life of Olive Oil?Consumers should use Olive Oil within 14 months from crush/ harvest date. Olive Oil benefits and quality decreases with time. It's important to remember olive oil is a perishable food–all bottled oil will go rancid eventually–but it is said when properly handled, sealed and stored in a cool dark place, olive oil will be 'good' for 18-24 months from the date it was harvested. If your bottle is older than two years, consider starting with a fresh one.
Are your Olive Oils filtered?No - our Olive Oils are not filtered. Our oils are pumped into large stainless steel tanks housed in temperature controlled warehouses. Gravity then causes particulates that were separated out with the oil during milling to sink to the bottom of the tank. This process is called “racking.” The most noticeable difference between an unfiltered and a filtered oil is appearance. The unfiltered oil may look a bit cloudy because of residual particles that weren’t removed through gravity in the settlement tank.
What affects the quality of Olive Oil?Time - Olive Oil benefits and quality decreases with time. Light - Extended exposure to light can deteriorate the quantity and quality of the antioxidants found in olive oil. Heat - The optimal storage temperature for olive oil is 60 to 72 degrees Fahrenheit. Warm temperature causes olive oil flavor to change. (Consider that most of our food warehouses are not temperature controlled and often exceed 100 degrees in certain climates.) Oxygen - oxidation of the oil occurs, which causes off flavors in the olive oil and deteriorates the quality of the oil.
Can I cook with Extra Virgin Olive Oil?Extra Virgin Olive Oil is one of the best oils to cook with! And since Extra Virgin Olive Oil has a high smoke point that can hold up to high cooking temperatures (410 degrees F), it is great for frying, sautéing, poaching, and baking.
What is the difference between Fused & Infused Olive Oils?Fused Oils (Agrumato) are produced by crushing fresh whole organic olives together with perfectly ripened fresh produce, strictly using cold mechanical extraction. Infused Oils are made by adding 100% pure essential oils of herbs or fruits to our Ultra Premium Extra Virgin Olive Oil.
Can I substitute Olive Oil for butter in baking?Yes - below is the conversion chart. Note that solid fats act different than liquid fats. When substituting liquid for liquid (such as veg oil) the results are the same. When substituting solid to liquid there may be a change in texture and crispiness.
Is your butter olive oil dairy free?Yes - the butter flavor is derived from a plant based natural essential oil. Proprietary blend of botanical herbs
Are your Olive Oils Kosher?Yes - Our EEVO's and our Custom Blend Oils are certified - Kosher [Pareve]
Are your Olive Oils Gluten Free?Yes - All our Olive Oils are gluten free.
Are your Olive Oils Dairy Free?Yes - All our Olive Oils are dairy free. Please see copy of Allergen statement.