Vinegar is not the most obvious gastronomic souvenir. However, we insist: one of the most interesting. Vinegar is often made with no less art than wine, but in most cases you can buy the best samples only where they are produced.
Where are you going on vacation? Buy a bottle of local vinegar there and it will give you the taste of travel for a very long time.
Vinegar is made from a wide variety of products, in England, for example, classic vinegar – rye, the main Japanese vinegar – rice. This post is about vinegar made from grapes. Of course, these are Mediterranean vinegars native to Italy and Spain, here grapes are the main national product
Balsamic is an Italian specialty. His homeland is Modena. From vinegar there is only a name. Basically, balsamic vinegar is just a sauce.
After all, what is vinegar? It is a substance obtained by fermenting something, such as apples or grapes.
Balsamic vinegar is obtained by digesting grape juice. For it, they use all those varieties that we are used to seeing in our glasses – Lambrusco, Sangiovese, Trebbiano, Albana, Ancelotta, Fortana and Montuni. After digestion, vinegar is aged in barrels of different types of wood: juniper, chestnut, acacia, cherry, oak, mulberry, ash. The process of aging in barrels is not fast, luxury types of balsamic vinegar are aged 25 years.
Of course, such a balsamic is expensive. The balsamic vinegar that can be found in ordinary stores is an imitation. It is made from wine vinegar thickened with starch or other substances and sweetened with caramel.
There is nothing wrong with such a balsamic vinegar, but this is not quite true balsamic vinegar, just like crab sticks are not quite a crab.
It is because of this type of vinegar that we know vinegar as such. The first vinegar used by mankind was precisely wine, which was obtained from sour wine. How should good wine vinegar be made? Several conditions must be met:
- The basis should be good wine – the better the wine that formed the basis, the more wonderful the taste of vinegar will be.
- After the wine is sour, it should be fermented for a while, the longer – the better. A good duration for the fermentation of wine vinegar will be several months, but if you meet vinegar with a little fermentation, this is a high class.
The best wine vinegar, varietal, is produced in Italian wineries.
This is a traditional Spanish product. Sherry – fortified white wine – aged in oak barrels located in warm places. Extract of such vinegar takes at least 2 years. Sherry vinegar has a rich fruity taste and is ideal for salads where there are sweet ingredients.