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Real Balsamic Vinegar

post #1 of 35
Thread Starter 
Is it worth the price?

Been looking at igourmet.com for the last day or so and some of it looks pretty good. Which variety should I get? 1, 2, 3, or 4 leaf?
post #2 of 35
Quote:
Originally Posted by kwilkinson View Post
Is it worth the price?

Been looking at igourmet.com for the last day or so and some of it looks pretty good. Which variety should I get? 1, 2, 3, or 4 leaf?

It depends on the fate you intend for it.
post #3 of 35
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Fabienne View Post
It depends on the fate you intend for it.

I see that... ranging anywhere from salad dressing grade up to dessert-grade? Really?
post #4 of 35
Do you have a ball-park idea of the tastes at various aging stages? I'm asking, because the extravecchio can be an acquired taste, so before you invest 100-180 euros for 100ml...
post #5 of 35
Just get the low grade commercial stuff for now and learn how to do reductions properly (aren't you going to cooking school? you'll be doing a lot of it). Chefs rarely pull out the good stuff and even then it's used very sparingly.
post #6 of 35
Quote:
Originally Posted by kwilkinson View Post
Is it worth the price?

Been looking at igourmet.com for the last day or so and some of it looks pretty good. Which variety should I get? 1, 2, 3, or 4 leaf?

What's this 1,2,3 or 4 leaf stuff? I buy the real thing but generally you buy 20 year old, 25 year old, or the oldest i've seen, which is 50 year old. I've never cooked with it though. If you want to use it to cook, you can get a 10 year fairly cheaply that would be better than the mass-produced stuff but be less costly than the 20 year, which is the minimum to qualify as aceto balsamico tradizionale di modena.
post #7 of 35
I don't get the love for and ubiquity of balsamic vinegar.

I know that the opinion above is of absolutely no help to the OP and apologize for that.
post #8 of 35
Quote:
Originally Posted by gdl203 View Post
I don't get the love for and ubiquity of balsamic vinegar.

I know that the opinion above is of absolutely no help to the OP and apologize for that.
+100000.
post #9 of 35
I buy a fantastic 12 YO balsamic from a local store which purchases barrels. It's amazing for the age and price point, and is an 'otherworldy' experience for those who try it and have not had exceptional Balsamic before.

I think this kind of a small bottle is clearly "worth it" for anyone new to fine balsamic -- because it brings an experience to them at a reasonable price that they won't have had before.

Once you get into the far reaches of balsamic you begin to tread on the path of how much you value the new experiences of the older and rarer items, which is a matter of personal preference rather than of commonplace consensus.
post #10 of 35
Quote:
Originally Posted by gdl203 View Post
I don't get the love for and ubiquity of balsamic vinegar.

I know that the opinion above is of absolutely no help to the OP and apologize for that.

I think it is one of those "ingredients of the moment," so agree with the current ubiquitous nature of it. However, the love? Oh I get it for a nice aged one, so thick it's like syrup, dizzled over ripe cantaloupe with prosciutto and a good Parm. Or a nice reduction with a less expensive variety.

As to what to get K? Head to some yuppie joint that does tastings. Yes, you can often get tastings of it. Or take the advice above and go for quantity over quality and do some cooking with it.
post #11 of 35
I don't know that it's "of the moment" - that moment has last for about 10 years now. I just don't understand why there's balsamic vinegar drizzled over half of what I order - from appetizers to dessert. So it may be that I'm a bit tired of it. I don't particularly hate balsamic vinegar but for about every one of its uses, I prefer other wine or sherry vinegars. I especially dislike the super sweet ultra-syrupy balsamico - ugh
post #12 of 35
Quote:
Originally Posted by kwilkinson View Post
Is it worth the price?

YES. I discovered real aged balsamic vinegar a couple of years ago and it's wonderful. really worth the price.

I would recommend https://shop.gildedfork.com/cp-app.c...NEGARS&catstr=

You can usually find coupons online and bring the price down. This sells for $80 in my local store.
post #13 of 35
Quote:
Originally Posted by gdl203 View Post
I don't know that it's "of the moment" - that moment has last for about 10 years now. I just don't understand why there's balsamic vinegar drizzled over half of what I order - from appetizers to dessert. So it may be that I'm a bit tired of it. I don't particularly hate balsamic vinegar but for about every one of its uses, I prefer other wine or sherry vinegars. I especially dislike the super sweet ultra-syrupy balsamico - ugh

Not gonna argue it's over use. I mean, a few weeks ago, I ordered some fish and chips for lunch and they brought out a balsalmic vinegar. Used in the correct situation though, it is pretty damn heavenly to my taste buds.
post #14 of 35
Thread Starter 
Thanks guys. I'll probably buy some and experiment with it and see what I t hink after that.

Quote:
Originally Posted by gdl203 View Post
I don't know that it's "of the moment" - that moment has last for about 10 years now. I just don't understand why there's balsamic vinegar drizzled over half of what I order - from appetizers to dessert. So it may be that I'm a bit tired of it. I don't particularly hate balsamic vinegar but for about every one of its uses, I prefer other wine or sherry vinegars. I especially dislike the super sweet ultra-syrupy balsamico - ugh

See, I've never had the real stuff. Then again, from the restaurant recommendation thread, it's obvious you go to the type of restaurant that I would love to work in, but will probably never be able to be a customer of.
post #15 of 35
Quote:
Originally Posted by kwilkinson View Post
but will probably never be able to be a customer of.
Are you crazy? Let's check back when you're my age and we'll see. I am sure you will have tried every starred restaurant in your city by then, especially given your interest in food and cooking. Maybe you'll own one of them - that would be neat
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