Balsamic Basics, Part 1: Not Just for Salad Anymore

Most people understand that balsamic vinegar blends well with olive oil to create a delicious, low-calorie salad dressing.

Many of our customers have asked, “What exactly is balsamic vinegar? Can it be used for other purposes than just salad dressing?

We answered, yes to both of these questions and will have a three-part blog series on balsamic vinegar, with recipe ideas!

Like wine, balsamic vinegar comes from the juice of just-harvested grapes. Unlike the wine, though, balsamic vinegars are boiled down into a concentrate and allowed to ferment in casks. This intensifies the flavor. Different types of grapes create different types of vinegars. For example, white balsamic vinegar will be made from different grapes than a regular balsamic, which can be made from red or black grapes. Like wine, different varietals of grapes will also create different varietals of balsamic vinegar.

At Red Stick Spice Company, we carry four California, natural, estate-grown balsamic vinegars that can be used for salad dressings, as well marinades, dipping sauces and other cooking purposes.

Premium 2-Year Balsamic Vinegar

Simmer this balsamic in a pan until it’s syrupy.  Then pour over prosciutto-wrapped dates stuffed with gorgonzola. 

Champagne Pear Balsamic Vinegar

Try this super simple recipe for an amazing salad dressing or marinade.

Pomegranate Balsamic Vinegar

This can be used to glaze chicken and pork chops.  Don’t forget it is also good on vanilla ice cream! 

Peach Balsamic Vinegar

Mix this with Red Stick Spice Company’s Rosemary Olive Oil and our Garlic and Herb Salt Free Blend to make a marinade for poultry and pork.

Next week, we’ll discuss how to differentiate a quality balsamic from large industrial commercial ones. Contact us online or in the shop to learn more about balsamic vinegar and its uses!

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