The Many Uses Of Balsamic Vinegar
Here in the U.S we say that things go well together like peanut butter and jelly – but in Italy, they say like bread with Olive oil and Balsamic Vinegar, right?
When it comes to us humans, we can mess up a lot of good things (think polar ice caps or polar bears).
But, one thing we’ve absolutely crushed for the last couple thousand years is the olive oil and balsamic vinegar combo.
So how did we figure out how to pair up these two mouth-watering, gourmet products?
Well, I was surprised to find out that dipping bread in a bowl of olive oil and balsamic is not something Italians had traditionally done.
In fact, they are often confused about why people want to fill up on bread before a meal. On top of that, they protest that the vinegar will ruin your taste buds before the meal.
While Italians are notoriously fussy about food combinations, I have to imagine some of these ‘rules’ have been relaxed in more modern and/or touristy areas.Strange to think that Italians don’t dip bread in olive oil and balsamic vinegar.
Apparently, though the story is not 100% confirmed, a restaurant in San Francisco thought the Italians were missing out and was the first one to serve one of Italian (Americans) favorite appetizers. The trend was so popular; this delicious combo is now served in Italian and Mediterranean restaurants across the U.S
So if the Italians, the ones who make balsamic vinegar, do not dip their bread in olive oil and balsamic, what do they use it for and what else might they be missing out on?
Turns out, they’re not missing out on all that much. Because as delicious as bread with olive oil and balsamic is, there are many more enchanting applications for these famous friends.Balsamic Vinegar is a much sought after delicacy
- Traditionally, it is drizzled over cheese,
- fresh vegetables or
- cooked vegetables,
- used in sauces, marinade, and soups.
- It is the coup de grace in the beloved Caprese Salad.
Did you know that more recently it has been used as a natural sweetener and flavor enhancer in cocktails?Balsamic Vinegar on Ice Cream?
Sure thing! Maybe one of the most seductive uses of balsamic vinegar is on ice cream topped with freshly picked strawberries drizzled with a thick dollop of thick, aged balsamic vinegar.
You have to try this!
And guess what else goes on all of those dishes? Olive Oil! Don’t believe me? Have you ever tried Oli Oil with a pinch of salt on vanilla ice cream with a little bit of Aged Balsamic Vinegar drizzled on top?
How about Blood Orange Olive Oil, mixed with the White Peach Balsamic? It tastes exactly like a (natural) Creamsicle – some of you know it as a 50/50 bar. Yes, if you mix this up and top your strawberries on ice cream, mamma mia! You can thank me later.!
Olive Oil and Vinegar, why do they go so well together?
Well, one is fat which provides amazing flavor and the other is an acid that has been aged to an exquisitely thick, sweet/tart flavor, which adds a deep textured layer to any dish.
Use them separately for wonderful flavors. Combine the right oil with the right balsamic vinegar for an out of this world experience.
Don't forget the ratio:
Best way to go about it is to mix two to three parts oil to one part vinegar. It forms the strongest emulsion.
- Use vinaigrette for any salads, but best for bitter greens
- Fruit salads especially stone fruits – Kiwi and Oranges filled with olive oil and a touch of balsamic vinegar
- Caprese Salad; bruschetta
- Cold pasta – take these 2 for a spin and watch the dish light up
- When cooking risotto or finishing a pasta, both a little olive oil and balsamic vinegar can go a long way to enhancing flavors
- Bacon Wrapped Dates
- Bacon wrapped pork fillet
Olive Oil and Balsamic Vinegar complement each other and can be used for various dishes. From salads, pasta and even on sweets or ice cream!
- Neil Naran