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Old 03-04-2005, 10:47 AM   #1
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Balsamic vinegar??!!

Hi there :D

I have never thought of what Balsamic vinegar is actually made of until yesterday. My friend told me it's a type of red wine or it's made like red wine exactly yet more concentrated :?: Does anyone know what it's really made of and if it has alcohol in it at all?

Why I'm asking is : I'm inviting a friend over for dinner Sunday night, and she doesn't drink alcohol at all, not any bit. So I was wondering if I could or couldn't serve any dish with Balsamic vinegar?

Thanks !!!

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Old 03-04-2005, 10:56 AM   #2
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When you cook alcohol, the alcohol cooks out.

Balsamic Vinegar



The first literary references to balsamic vinegar date back to the year 1046. In that year Emperor Henry III went from Northern Europe to Rome. On the way, while stopping in Piacenza, he asked Marquis Bonifacio, father of Countess Matilde di Canossa, for a small cask of the famous laudatum acentum.



Further documentary proof confirms Modena as the birthplace of balsamic vinegar, whose method of preparation did not undergo any significant changes for many centuries. The traditional raw material for balsamic vinegar had always been wine vinegar, which was then aged for even hundreds of years. This is the hallmark of a tradition which was handed down from generation to generation.



Even the Estense family, which ruled the Duchy of Modena from 1598 to the middle of the 19th century, possessed large stores of balsamic vinegar which became famous throughout Europe. Menus from this period show that it was never lacking at meals



The culinary requirements of such a renowned court made it necessary for the west tower of the Ducal Palace in Modena (residence of the Estense family) to be dedicated exclusively to the production of balsamic vinegar.



In 1861 Mr. Aggazzotti, a lawyer, introduced a revolutionary production technique that used concentrated grape must as the raw material instead of wine vinegar. This is the method that has been used ever since to produce traditional balsamic vinegars.
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Old 03-04-2005, 10:58 AM   #3
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Hi Pancake,

It's kinda made from wine (see below), but there's little to no alcohol left in vinegar. What happens with vinegar is that a bacteria known as acetobacter feeds on the alcohol and sugars in the wine producing acetic acid (Vinegar).

Most breweries and wineries try to avoid the stuff like the plauge, since it's highly infectous to both finished and unfinished fermented products. Most artisian vinegar producers add all of the cultures at once (so the wine 'must' or juice both ferments and converts alchol to acetic acid at the same time), so it never REALLY becomes fully fermented wine. For Balsamic, I think they cook down the grape juice/must a little bit first to up the sugar content.

John
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Old 03-04-2005, 11:03 AM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Rainee
When you cook alcohol, the alcohol cooks out.
Be careful of this statement around people who cannot have alcohol. Depending on the cooking method and time not all the alcohol cooks out.

Here is just one chart that will show the amount of alcohol that might still be in a dish after cooking.

Here is another.
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Old 03-04-2005, 11:11 AM   #5
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While I have plenty of repect for people who don't drink for whatever reason - I think some of them take it to the extreme at times. Then there are also people who, for medical or other reasons, have to be vigilant for a reason.

HOWEVER If you get someone who you think is really just making far too big a deal out of things, and really want to freak them out, just run down a list of things that 'technically' have alcohol in them.

Obviously, any fermented beverage, but fermentation also includes:
Cheese
Yogurt
Sauerkraut
Dill pickles (At least SOME varieties)
Real Vinegars (Not the distilled white stuff in the store)
All breads with yeast. (Yep! All of 'em. Yeast eat sugar and convert it to CO2 and Ethyl alcohol. If yeast made it rise, it has alcohol in it).

There are still more but that's a good start...

Remember, this is just for fun not to pick on anyone's decisions not to drink.

John
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Old 03-04-2005, 11:30 AM   #6
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Thanks for the clarification, I didn't think it was that complicated
GB, I saw that chart and frankly I never felt alcohol completely evapourates like most chefs claim it does and to make things worse... I was going to serve a salad with Balsamic vinaigrette, so I'm not even cooking it or anything :!:

Ron, she eats breads & cheeses and everything you've actually listed I never thought they contain alcohol, I don't think I'll tell her though--that way I won't know what to serve

Y'all thanks alot, I'll keep searching but it doesn't look encouraging !
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Old 03-04-2005, 11:36 AM   #7
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You might want to ask your friend (if you are comfortable doing that) if she stays away from vinegar. Chances are she does not and balsamic would not be a problem to her. My chart was more in reference to actually cooking with alcohol like wine or vodka. Like Ronjon mentioned there is little to no alcohol left in the vinegar after it becomes vinegar
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Old 03-04-2005, 11:53 AM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by GB
You might want to ask your friend (if you are comfortable doing that) if she stays away from vinegar. Chances are she does not and balsamic would not be a problem to her. My chart was more in reference to actually cooking with alcohol like wine or vodka. Like Ronjon mentioned there is little to no alcohol left in the vinegar after it becomes vinegar
GB thank you I was just thinking of bringing it up & asking her, I'm very comfortable with that she's very sweet :D
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Old 03-04-2005, 11:57 AM   #9
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I actually just did a quick search on google. I search for Balsamic alcohol content. Interestingly enough it came up with a page of what non-alcoholic beverages to serve to someone who wants to stay away from booze. One of the suggestions was sparkling water with a few drops of high quality balsamic vinegar. I found that pretty interesting :)

Best of luck with your dinner!
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Old 03-04-2005, 02:52 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by GB
I actually just did a quick search on google. I search for Balsamic alcohol content. Interestingly enough it came up with a page of what non-alcoholic beverages to serve to someone who wants to stay away from booze. One of the suggestions was sparkling water with a few drops of high quality balsamic vinegar. I found that pretty interesting :)

Best of luck with your dinner!
Whooooooooo-hooooooooooooo!!!!!!!!! I love that !!!! :D :D :D :D
I'll be making my favorite salad !!! Thanks GB, you're great help!
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