means 'like balsam' - and balsam is an aromatic resin
- balsamic vinegar simply refers to the fact that it
is thick (resin like) and aromatic.
Here is a short summary of Balsamic Vinegar, where it
comes from and how it is made.
unique and traditional balsamic vinegar of Modena, Italy
(Aceto Balsamico di Modena)is made from the 'must' (unfermented
juice) of mainly the Trebbiano grape, other grapes used
are Lambrusco, Ancellotta, Sauvignon and Sgavetta. These
'musts' cannot have anything added. The must is then
boiled down in open pots over a direct flame.
extract (concentrated juice) from this cooking is now
a fruity syrup. At this point some 'mother' of vinegar
can be added. ('Mother' is a stringy, slimy substance
that forms on the surface of vinegar, composed of various
yeast and bacteria [especially mycoderma aceti] that
cause fermentation in wine and cider, and turn it into
acetic acid - vinegar). It is then aged in barrels of
different woods - first in one, then transferred to
company has its own secret progression of wooden barrels
usually including chestnut, ash tree, cherry, mulberry,
juniper and oak. The finished vinegar must be at least
6 years old, and some is aged much longer.
finished vinegar is then presented to the DOC, a governing
body similar to those that govern the quality of French
and Italian wines. Balsamic vinegars without this designation
on the label are usually unaged or aged for six months
to a year in stainless steel tanks.
article is from Chef James Ehler of Key West, Florida.
is a webmaster, cook, chef, writer and (like me) a self-confessed
computer nerd. He is the former executive chef of Martha's
Steak & Seafood Restaurant and the former Reach Hotel
(both in Key West), the Hilton Hotel in Fayetteville,
Arkansas, and the New Bern Golf and Country Club, North
is now webmaster and cook at the Blue Heaven Restaurant
in Key West while he works on his Food Encyclopedia
(five years so far). It is well worth paying a visit
to James' food reference website which is a useful resource
well worth Bookmarking - to visit either website just
click on their title:
Food Reference Website
Blue Heaven Restaurant, Key West, Florida
you want to contact James just email him by clicking
James T. Ehler, 2001
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