A dark-brown syrupy vinegar with a smooth sweet-sour flavour, produced in the Modena region of Italy. It’s made from reduced grape juice that is aged in wooden casks.
The best quality balsamic vinegar can be over 100 years old but is more commonly sold at three to four years of age. True balsamic vinegars are very expensive but have an exceptional flavour. Balsamic vinegars made on a commercial basis are less pricey (although still fairly expensive) but luckily a little goes along way.
Use with a little olive oil for a subtle salad dressing or add a few drops to meaty stews, when frying steak or chops or in marinades. Alternatively, lightly sprinkle sliced strawberries with it – it really brings out the flavour of the fruit.