Made from grape must (juice), balsamic vinegar is simmered until very concentrated, then fermented for a minimum of 12 years in wooden barrels, leaving it thick, dark and syrupy with unique flavours.
The best quality balsamic vinegar comes from Modena, and Emilia Romagna in Italy. The longer it is aged, the richer the flavour and the higher the price.
Try drizzling good quality balsamic over sliced strawberries or good quality vanilla ice cream for an amazingly simple dessert. Drop a little into a little bowl of extra virgin olive oil and dip chunks of crusty bread into it.
Use less expensive Aceto Balsamico di Modena in cooking, adding a drizzle to the pan juices of steaks, pork chops, duck or chicken breasts. Stir balsamic into pasta recipes, risottos or add to marinades.
Balsamic makes a rich oil and vinegar salad dressing too, ideal for salad recipes.