Cooking with Balsamic Vinegar

How to choose among the many types?

Balsamic Vinegar is commonly known as a sweet-and-sour dressing to use on salad and veggies but it can actually be used throughout the meal, from the appetizer up to dessert, according to the different levels of density related to the ageing time in wood barrels. In fact, the more it is aged, the more it gets thick and aromatic thanks to the wood scents and flavours of the barrels. It is therefore important to choose according to the specific needs: a young Balsamic is very liquid and suitable to dress salads, marinade meats and seafood, prepare the vinaigrette and dips; a medium aged balsamic is perfect not only on salads and veggies but also on risottos, soups, meat, fish and fruit salad. A balsamic aged for at least 10 years shows a very velvety consistency and so is good on cheese, caviar and seafood, strawberries and other fresh fruit, ice-cream, custard, cheesecake and even as an ingredient for refreshing cocktails. Finally, a balsamic aged more than 20 years, such as the Tradizionale Extra Vecchio DOP, besides all the uses already mentioned, can be sipped as it is, pure at the end of the meal for its digestive properties. 

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