Balsamic Vinegar! 🇮🇹
Incredible, one of my favourite vinegars in the world, just lying there in my local supermarket dumpster.
Five of them!
Plus, they don’t go ‘off’ until December 10th 02021. Absolutely over the moon!
I adore all vinegars. They’re so critical to good cooking.
Even though, this vinegar hails from the epicentre of balsamic vinegar production, the Italian region of Modena, it is actually quite a low standard vinegar.
Balsamic ought to be an extremely dark, concentrated & intensely favoured vinegar made entirely or partially from grape must.
What’s grape must?
Good question. I had no idea.
Essentially, grape juice with all the grapes’ bits.
Unfortunately, like so many of the commodities available on the global market today, balsamic producers have opted for cheapness foregoing the traditional, slow fermentation processes that created these remarkably high-quality vinegars. The crucial ageing processes took years (at least 12, if not 18 or 25!) in a series of wooden barrel casks (e.g. chestnut, cherry, oak, etc.). The ageing process has been reduced to a fraction of what it was (if at all!), and I suspect that the wooden barrels are probably a thing of the past, too, with industrial producers opting for stainless-steel metal vats instead. This is a critical mistake as the microbial communities lining the wood panels, which have formed over time, are essential to the fermentation processes that take place. They are indispensable to the fermentation process!
My ‘balsamic’ is unfortunately just wine vinegar blended with some grape must. It hasn’t aged. So, it’s an entirely different product, the complex & well balanced flavours are nowhere to be seen. That’s why I enjoy learning about the history of food so much, otherwise it’s very difficult to tell these different products apart.
Grazie Italia 💚
Harvest Day 120:
5 Balsamic vinegars
1 kg organic potatoes
42 Likes, 4 Comments - An Urban Harvester (@anurbanharvester) on Instagram: “Balsamic Vinegar! 🇮🇹 Incredible, one of my favourite vinegars in the world, just lying there in…”www.instagram.com