White Balsamic Vinegar 101

Before explaining the white version, let's first go back and remember its more commonly know and darker counterpart: Dark Balsamic Vinegar. Made for centuries in Modena, Italy, Balsamic Vinegar is created using a method similar to that for making wine.

The vinegar is made from the must -- the unfermented juice -- of Trebbiano grapes. Sweet and white, the must is caramelized (this is where the dark color comes from) and then aged in wood barrels for 12 to 25 years. Any less time and it's not genuine Balsamic Vinegar.

As a result, the longer the aging, generally the more intense the flavor and viscous the liquid and higher the price. For those of us who love Balsamic Vinegar’s distinctive winey flavor, these are great choices, especially if your goal is to use them in salad dressings when the vinegar is combined with other ingredients.

Back to White Balsamic Vinegar. The same as its darker, better-known version, white balsamic is also produced from Trebbiano must using the same simmering method but care is taken to not produce any caramelization so to keep its color light. It's also aged for less time.

The result is vinegar that has Balsamic Vinegar’s distinct sweet and sour flavor but with a lighter color and taste. And even though it's called "white," in fact it has a golden color.

Purchasing White Balsamic Vinegar

As with any food purchase, you should know what you're getting which is why it makes perfect sense to use White Balsamic Vinegarwhich is imported and sold by reputable Balsamic Vinegar brands.

Because the white version has the balsamic distinctive taste without any sweet or sour aggression, it is an excellent choice for glazes, sauces , or marinades. It can also be an exceptional decision for deglazing a pan, especially for those who avoid alcohol and thus won't use wine.