Dark balsamic vinegars include Trebbiano grape must, that is cooked, reduced and aged in the Modena balsamic tradition. The grape must is fermented in wood barrels and aged in attics. Gradually the grape must becomes vinegar as it ages in wood-fired barrels: chestnut, oak, cherry, mulberry or ash. As the grape must ages, it gains character and texture as it changes barrels every year.
As for our white balsamics, they are made with the same grape in an almost identical process. Chefs wanted to produce a beautiful balsamic that would not interfere with the presentation of certain dishes and so they developed a variation of the above technique. Instead of cooking the grapes over a wood fire they are cooked in a double boiler and are then aged in stainless steel. This keeps the colour clear and the flavour abundant.
How are our balsamics flavoured? In the same way a cook flavours their meal – just by adding the ingredient. For instance, our Espresso Dark Balsamic uses our Traditional Dark as a base and during the aging process espresso beans are added to the barrel. This results in a robust and complex coffee motif in the sweet balsamic.
Balsamic Vinegar is a sweet, thick vinegar that can really enhance the flavour of almost any dish. From a marinade for meat to an ice cream topping or flavouring for teas, balsamic is more than just an addition to a salad dressing. Want more info of the various balsamics that we offer? Look no further.
Balsamic vinegar, like scotch or champagne, is tied to the land it comes from. For grape must turned into vinegar to be called balsamic it needs to come from Modena, Italy. If it is produced elsewhere then it is just a tasty liquid. Because of this, we source all of our balsamic vinegar from Modena to offer you that authentic experience.
BALSAMIC VINEGAR HEALTH BENEFITS
Balsamic vinegar retains most of the nutrients present in the parent grapes and contains nutrients like iron,
calcium, potassium, manganese, phosphorus and magnesium in adequate amounts. Thus, incorporating balsamic oil in your daily diet will benefit you immensely. Here’s a look the different balsamic vinegar health benefits.
Oxidation reactions, taking place in the human body to produce energy, contribute to the formation of cell
damaging free radicals, which are natural by-products. Free radicals damage cell membranes and manifest
themselves in terms of premature aging, hardening of arterial walls and cancer. Antioxidants from balsamic vinegar destroy these free radicals and prevent cells from being destroyed.
The grapes from which balsamic vinegar is formed are known to contain a bioflavonoid called quercetin, which has antioxidant properties. Along with vitamin C, this antioxidant strengthens the immune system to fight cancer and other infectious diseases and inflammations. Balsamic vinegar also contains polyphenols which are anti-cancer agents.
Balsamic vinegar is low in saturated fat and is believed to reduce cholesterol. Since it is low in sodium, it enhances heart health and reduces high blood pressure.
Research reveals that consumption of at least five teaspoons of balsamic vinegar a day enhances insulin sensitivity. The greater the insulin sensitivity, the better the diabetes control.
In ancient times, folk healers used this vinegar to relieve people of their body pain. They also used balsamic vinegar to treat wounds and infections. The anti-bacterial and anti-viral properties in the vinegar healed wounds.
The polyphenols in balsamic vinegar stimulate the activity of pepsin enzyme in the body. Pepsin is a digestive
enzyme, which helps break proteins into smaller units (amino acids). These polyphenols also assist the
intestine in absorbing amino acids expeditiously. Efficient amino acid absorption enables the body to utilise it for cell building, repair and other body maintenance work. In other words, balsamic vinegar aids the digestion
EVOO Myths & Truths
“Olive oil should only be cooked at low temperatures.”
In actual fact, olive oil stands up quite well to high cooking temperatures. Its high smoke point, the point at which the oil begins to break down and smoke, is approximately 210ºC. To compare, the ideal temperature for frying food is about 180ºC. The digestibility of olive oil is not affected when it is heated. If you have an oil labelled as extra virgin olive oil and it is smokes at a low temperature then you may have an oil that isn’t olive oil.
“Olive oil needs to be kept in the refrigerator.”
The best place to store extra virgin olive oil is the back of a cupboard away from the stove. This will prevent it from being harmed by the effects of fluctuating temperatures from a nearby stove or the cold of a fridge as well as the harmful effects of light. That being said, if you are in an aisle and you see a bottle of olive oil under the florescent lights then you aren’t looking at an extra virgin olive oil.
“Olive oil is like a fine wine, it gets better with age.”
This is completely false. Olive oil actually degrades with time. The oil of olives is a fresh fruit juice and like apple juice and orange juice, it will expire. Although, extra virgin olive oil does taste like a fine wine – with complex notes of flavours.
“All olive oils are the same.”
Each olive oil is quite different both in grade and variety. Different olives produce oils with different flavours. From one cultivar of olive to another you can have a completely different sensory experience. More importantly for your health, olive oils also vary in grade. Pure, light, virgin, and extra virgin all mean different things. Extra virgin is recognised by the International Olive Council as the highest grade and also retains all of the health benefits. Virgin lacks most of the beauty of extra virgin (health benefits, flavours, colour) and light olive oil is refined and pure olive oil is most often pomace oil and should not be eaten.
“Every olive oil is healthy for you.”
Extra virgin olive oil is healthy for you but be careful with other grades. As mentioned above, pomace oil is not suitable for human consumption so be careful. That being said, extra virgin olive oil is among one of the healthiest foods. It can help prevent many different diseases from cancers to heart disease. Want to know more? Ask us, we are happy to answer your health related questions.
EVOO ALTERNATIVE USES
One of the biggest myths surrounding olive oil is that it should only be used in cooking. This is not true at all. In fact, olive oil has been at the centre of human life in the mediterranean for thousands of years and has more than great culinary qualities. Here’s a list of some of this versatile fruit oil’s different uses.
EXTRA VIRGIN OLIVE OIL -VS- BUTTER
We’ve all heard that fatty foods are not good for you. We’ve all heard that fat is where a lot of flavour is found. But is there a way we can have great flavour without the dangers of fat? Of course! Olive oil is one of the healthiest fatty oils and is defined by its flavours. It’s high in the good kind of fats that your body needs to make energy and to stay healthy.
Try pan frying eggs in extra virgin olive oil instead of butter. Frying eggs in a robust oil with some curry powder results in a breakfast with some heat and a peppery kick.