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Old 09-13-2016, 09:38 AM   #1
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Balsamic Vinegar

I just splurged on a fairly expensive bottle of Balsamic Vinegar ($26 for 8.5 oz.) and I have to admit it was worth it. Much better than the supermarket variety. It is so much better it was like I'd never really had Balsamic Vinegar before.

Anyone else have any experience with this high end stuff? The brand I bought was "QO Gourmet" (Amazon). But they had other brands I would try if someone recommends. Some of them were like $60/oz. Normally I would say no way, but if you get as big a boost going to the super expensive as you do going from the supermarket variety to the stuff I bought, I might just consider it.

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Old 09-13-2016, 11:13 AM   #2
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I just splurged on a fairly expensive bottle of Balsamic Vinegar ($26 for 8.5 oz.) and I have to admit it was worth it. Much better than the supermarket variety. It is so much better it was like I'd never really had Balsamic Vinegar before.

Anyone else have any experience with this high end stuff? The brand I bought was "QO Gourmet" (Amazon). But they had other brands I would try if someone recommends. Some of them were like $60/oz. Normally I would say no way, but if you get as big a boost going to the super expensive as you do going from the supermarket variety to the stuff I bought, I might just consider it.
How old is the stuff you bought? The oldest I've seen is 120 years and that was back in 2002. You can imagine the price for a small amount.
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Old 09-13-2016, 11:18 AM   #3
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I just splurged on a fairly expensive bottle of Balsamic Vinegar ($26 for 8.5 oz.) and I have to admit it was worth it. Much better than the supermarket variety. It is so much better it was like I'd never really had Balsamic Vinegar before.

Anyone else have any experience with this high end stuff? The brand I bought was "QO Gourmet" (Amazon). But they had other brands I would try if someone recommends. Some of them were like $60/oz. Normally I would say no way, but if you get as big a boost going to the super expensive as you do going from the supermarket variety to the stuff I bought, I might just consider it.
We buy 18 year aged balsamic from a balsamic vinegar and olive oil specialty shop on Main Street in Littleton, CO (conveniently right next door to Savory Spice Shop). They also have very good EVOO, and various infused olive oils and balsamic vinegars. They can add some real flavor to many dishes.
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Old 09-13-2016, 11:38 AM   #4
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Balsamic Vinegar

The vinegar I bought was aged 12 years and it is quite good. I saw some for sale aged 25 years at $60/oz. (ouch!). In my very rural corner of SW NH, Amazon, etc. are my only options for finding items like this.
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Old 09-13-2016, 11:50 AM   #5
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I thought that I didn't like Balsamic vinegar until I bought a bottle of 20 year old stuff at my local one horse town supermarket. The brand is Alessi. The stuff is divine.
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Old 09-13-2016, 12:35 PM   #6
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Balsamic vinegar is one of those things you have to look at with a very skeptical eye. A lot of what's sold here in the US is just commercial grade, with sugar, vinegar, and caramel coloring added. First clue, if it contains vinegar, it's not true balsamic, which is only made from grape juice and nothing else.

I hate to say it, but a $26 bottle is not "high end stuff." It's undoubtedly better than a lot of what you will find in most supermarket aisles, though.

There's a great article here that describes the different grades...
Everything You Need to Know About Balsamic Vinegar | Serious Eats
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Old 09-13-2016, 12:50 PM   #7
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Originally Posted by RPCookin View Post
We buy 18 year aged balsamic from a balsamic vinegar and olive oil specialty shop on Main Street in Littleton, CO (conveniently right next door to Savory Spice Shop). They also have very good EVOO, and various infused olive oils and balsamic vinegars. They can add some real flavor to many dishes.
Richmond now has a couple of EVOO/vinegar shops. The variety is superb, and the price is $30/750. I understand that most of these single product stores are serviced by the same distributor, so we are probably getting the same product. Definitely worth the price.
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Old 09-13-2016, 12:56 PM   #8
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Balsamic vinegar

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Originally Posted by Steve Kroll View Post
Balsamic vinegar is one of those things you have to look at with a very skeptical eye. A lot of what's sold here in the US is just commercial grade, with sugar, vinegar, and caramel coloring added. First clue, if it contains vinegar, it's not true balsamic, which is only made from grape juice and nothing else.

I hate to say it, but a $26 bottle is not "high end stuff." It's undoubtedly better than a lot of what you will find in most supermarket aisles, though.

There's a great article here that describes the different grades...
Everything You Need to Know About Balsamic Vinegar | Serious Eats
I believe you are correct. The supermarket product is produced commercially in a day, while the good product is naturally fermented and aged for years.
IMO, while not not the best hundred year aged product, the medium priced ($30) is very good. My current bottle has a claimed age of 18 years. Works for me.
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Old 09-13-2016, 01:16 PM   #9
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Thanks. I'm going to try that brand. I see that both Amazon and WalMart carry it.
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Old 09-13-2016, 01:48 PM   #10
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This looks good. Slow Cooker Balsamic Chicken - foodiecrush
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Old 09-13-2016, 03:11 PM   #11
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I first tasted real balsamic vinegar at a specialty shop for olive oils and balsamic vinegars in Oak Park, IL, when I was visiting my brother and his family about 10 years ago. I bought it from them online till a shop opened locally; that one recently opened a third location pretty near to me, so I get it there now. Their balsamic vinegars are made in Modena, Italy; the website says it's "aged up to 18 years." The minimum is 12 years, so it's not the top-shelf stuff, but it's very good It's $33.99 for a 750-ml bottle, although they give you a discount for bringing back and refilling the bottles.

I love the stuff. I also have a few flavored balsamics, and a white balsamic. I was so proud of myself yesterday! I went to lunch with a friend yesterday at a restaurant right by the shop. We went in to taste and I didn't buy anything! I bought Gravenstein apple flavored balsamic a couple weeks ago and I don't need more right now.

In case you want to drool a little: Savor the Olive

Strawberry balsamic vinegar is incredible over chocolate ice cream
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Old 09-13-2016, 03:32 PM   #12
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Balsamic Vinegar

Well, after reading everyone's comments, I am looking forward to even better vinegars now. But even the modest upgrade I made was a huge difference. If you are reading this thread and wondering, as I was, if you should splurge on something more expensive than the supermarket stuff, I think yes, you should give it a try.
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Old 09-13-2016, 03:34 PM   #13
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nothing better than flavored balsamic vinegars.....equally good are the fig flavored vinegars.......delicious!
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Old 09-13-2016, 05:55 PM   #14
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I admit to being totally cheap.... I get the costco stuff and slather it on ;)
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Old 09-13-2016, 09:03 PM   #15
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Janet, you are a girl after my own heart. My pantry has Alessi and Colavita balsamic vinegars, both grocery store versions, and a bottle of Trader Joe's White Balsamic. I'm happy enough with them. Since I'm cheap frugal, I'd just as soon not experience the pleasures of the high-end vinegars and olive oils. Ignorance is bliss...
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Old 09-13-2016, 09:09 PM   #16
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I once read an article that stated the following:

"If you take the common store balsamic vinegar and boil it down to a thick syrup, it will take that raw taste out of it and make it more palatable."

How true it is, I have no idea. I have never bought it to try.
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Old 09-13-2016, 11:49 PM   #17
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nothing better than flavored balsamic vinegars.....equally good are the fig flavored vinegars.......delicious!
We use a maple balsamic as a finishing touch on sautéed brussels sprouts... fantastic!!!
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Old 09-14-2016, 07:48 AM   #18
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sounds delicious.......have not seen maple-flavored here in `houston but it doesn't mean it doesn;t exist........they say the fig-flavored can be put on ice cream......not that daring yet.......man have we come a long way from 50 years ago when apple cider vinegar was considered ``````````````'well you know`````````'''''
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Old 09-14-2016, 11:31 AM   #19
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sounds delicious.......have not seen maple-flavored here in `houston but it doesn't mean it doesn;t exist........they say the fig-flavored can be put on ice cream......not that daring yet.......man have we come a long way from 50 years ago when apple cider vinegar was considered ``````````````'well you know`````````'''''
Not sure if it's likely to help you if you actually live in Kazakstan, but here's a link for maple balsamic from the online store of the shop I buy from: EVOO Marketplace
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Old 09-14-2016, 12:29 PM   #20
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sounds delicious.......have not seen maple-flavored here in `houston but it doesn't mean it doesn;t exist........they say the fig-flavored can be put on ice cream......not that daring yet.......man have we come a long way from 50 years ago when apple cider vinegar was considered ``````````````'well you know`````````'''''
GotGarlic posted this link >>> Dark Balsamic — Savor the Olive. It has many special balsamics and oils including fig, maple, and pomegranate and many more that are interesting.
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