Dip Bread Appetizers

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Balsamic Vinegar a Gift of Taste

Balsamico. It is something that the cook in your family will want, that your aunt who has everything in the world might not have, and something that your mother will enjoy thoroughly.

Modena Balsamic Vinegar Any cook would recognize the value of a gift of quality Modena balsamic vinegar and greatly appreciate it.

The fabulous taste of Modena balsamic vinegar was probably an accidental discovery of the Middle Ages. Since then, it has become a gift of high value, fit for royalty. The Western culture, however, only came to fully understand its culinary value in the 1980’s.

Like wine, the passing of time brings balsamic vinegar closer to becoming perfect. Twelve years is the minimum amount of time required for balsamic vinegar to qualify for the coveted title of ‘aceto balsamic tradizionale’. This title is as important for vinegars as the recognition of consortium governing bodies is for fine wines from Europe. If a Modena balsamic vinegar is particularly fine, then it will also bear the additional label of ‘Extra Vecchio’.

A variety of wooden casks are involved in the making of Modena balsamic vinegar. The purest Modena balsamic vinegars are aged in chestnut, cherry, oak, mulberry, juniper, ash, and acacia casks. Each type of wood contributes its own unique flavor to the vinegar.

Balsamic vinegar is a greatly desired ingredient for use in vinaigrette dressings, and it can be put to good use in various dishes from salads to ice- cream, strawberries to fish.

A home-made balsamic vinaigrette to be served to guests or family can be easily prepared in fifteen minutes using such simple ingredients as extra virgin olive oil, balsamic vinegar, crushed garlic, white wine vinegar, chopped fresh basil, thyme leaves, fine chopped chives, chopped oregano, and chopped tarragon. Place all the ingredients in a good processor and blend until the mixture is smooth. Then leave the mixture overnight for the flavor to become fully saturated. This combination of ingredients will create a new and wonderful taste that will leave your taste buds tingling.

Some of the less expensive balsamic vinegars can be found packaged as part of gift baskets, and while these may not meet the highest Italian standards for balsamic vinegars, they are an affordable yet prized gift. In fact, these vinegars taste similar to the more expensive Modena balsamic vinegars.

Interestingly enough, as people from Western cultures were just beginning to discover the wonders of Modena balsamic vinegars, some of those vinegars that have only just become available today were just starting the lengthy aging process.

Balsamic vinegar aimed at attracting the more budget conscious can be found for less than $10 per 8 oz, and this type of vinegar is particularly suited for use in sauces, balsamic vinaigrettes, and marinades.

Even less expensive types of balsamic vinegar can be found in stores, but these are usually nothing more than common vinegar mixed with some caramelized brown sugar. While they may play a part in contributing some taste to your meal, they should not be mistaken for the truly authentic balsamic vinegars. Authentic balsamic vinegar contains no preservatives, and can be stored indefinitely. If you find that the balsamic vinegar you purchased in a store contains preservatives, you should definitely consider taking it back and exchanging it for the real thing.

In giving someone a gift of balsamic vinegar, you bless him or her with a gift of taste. Your recipient will undoubtedly be happy to have received such an internationally recognized gift and be grateful for it.

[tag] balsamic vinegar, balsamico[/tag]

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