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Difference between white and dark balsamic.

post #1 of 12
Thread Starter 
Hello,

I have never heard of white balsamic before and I was wondering what the difference is. More specifically I am curious about who has actually used it and what there thoughts are.


Thank you in advance for your reply.


Chives
Chives
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Chives
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post #2 of 12
I've never heard of white balsamic either. You have to be careful with balsamic vinegars because there are a lot of imposters out there.
In the region around Modena in Italy, some of the producers have formed a federation to judge and rate vinegars. Those deemed worthy are given a federation certification number that they proudly display on the bottle. (Usually in the form of a paper seal over the cork.)
This is purely volunatary though and the Italian government hasn't yet got into the act with any regulations. Any vinegar maker can put some caramel color in a vinegar and label it Balsamic vinegar from Modena.
In the town of Modena you can go into any grocery store and buy pretty much the same balsamic vinegars you get in the grocery store here. If you want the good stuff, you need to go to a wine shop. There you can get a small bottle of 40 year old balsamic for about $150. Its thick almost like molases. Some say you need a vinegar at least 12 years old to have anything worth while. If it costs $3.95 a gallon, leave it on the shelf! As to white balsamic? I don't know about that. Seems like a contradiction to me.

Jock :)
post #3 of 12
This may help answer your question:


:)
post #4 of 12
I stand corrected :bounce: :bounce:

Jock
post #5 of 12
Jock,

You can actually reduce (cook down) less expensive balsamic vinegars to concentrate the flavor and thicken it.

:)
post #6 of 12
Has anyone ever tasted this stuff?

Is in a recent innovation?

Does it cost as much as the traditional balsamic of Modena?

Is it even from Modena?


Full of questions toonight... :D
post #7 of 12
I've used it, and like it; it's a little milder than regular balsamic, and it is nice to use when you don't want the dish colored. Kind of along the same line as 'white worchestershire sauce', which I use when I make white chili. I don't have any right now, so can't answer your question re where it's made. I haven't seen any that's aged, though, like the different qualities of regular balsamic.
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post #8 of 12
I have tried white balsamic vinegar once, and I personally don't really see any use for it. I think it is actually just white wine vinegar with some other type of flavoring added.

Real Balsamic Vinegar is an interesting product. As stated already in a post, any producer can add carmel coloring to red wine vinegar and call it balsamic, but it is not really balsamic. I think that balsamic vinegar, real balsamic vinegar that is, does not fit the definition of what most people think of when they hear the word vinegar. I think that a better way to describe balsamic vinegar would be to call it a syrup, because it is thick and sweet and no where near as acidic as wine vinegar.

As stated by someone already, you can reduce commercial balsamic vinegar from the gallon jugs and it will concentrate the flavor, but it is still just red wine vinegar and carmel color. Real balsamic vinegar is actually made from WHITE trebbiano grapes and aged in different kinds of wood barrels. The aging in the wood barrels is what gives it the dark color, and over time it becomes thick and sweet. If you take a bottle of real balsamic vinegar that is half full and turn it upside down, it should coat the bottle completely like molasses.

I do think that commercial balsamic vinegar is good for salads and things like that, but I think using real balsamic vinegar in a vinagiette would be a waste and WAY too sweet. I think it should just be drizzled on things to finish them.

Real balsamic vinegar is rather expensive, but there is one type which is affordable and comprable to traditional Balsamic vinegar. Someone stated before that a consortium rates the vinegars and gives them a stamp of certification. This balsamic is not certified traditional, but it is as close as you can get without paying the hundered plus dollar price tag that comes with a traditional bottle which is only about two ounces.
It is called VILLA MANODORI. It is about thirty five dollars per 8 ounce bottle, a very good deal considering the alternative traditional balsamic vinegar.
post #9 of 12
Crane, any resources for this Villa Manodori? I know we are on opposite coasts but is there a national outlet that sells it? Thanks

Jock
post #10 of 12
I know that there lots of sources online to order it.
Here are some:


www.finefeast.com

.vermontvillage

.chefshop

It is really worth trying.
post #11 of 12
Thanks

Jock
post #12 of 12

White balsamics are aged in 4 different wood barrels, or casks, just like dark balsamics are, they are not allowed to ferment just like dark balsamics and the flavor is a bit less sweet than dark balsamics. the primary difference is that only white grape must is used for white balsamic where all grape must is used for dark balsamic and dark balsamic is caramelized once the aging process is completed. most dark balsamics also have some caramel color added but not much or any if it is a quality balsamic. Cheap balsamics are able to be made in as little as 3 months where a good quality balsamic in either color is aged between 12 and 100 years. 100 years being the exception.

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