What is the difference between flavored and fused extra virgin olive oil?
Infused or flavored olive oil are flavors that are added after the olive oil is pressed. Fused olive oils are not as common. Fused extra virgin olive oil refers to the process of actually pressing the olives and fruit together simultaneously, thus creating a beautiful harmony that will not deteriorate the flavor profile of the oil. Fused oils do not become rancid as quickly as infused oils and vinegars.
Balsamic Vinegar Tutorial
What is the difference between vinegars?
This ancient condiment has been used to both flavor and preserve food. By fermenting fruits or grains past the alcohol stage, produces vinegar. Primarily the differences between vinegars are what they are made from and the length of aging. Cider, rice, white, and balsamic vinegars are the most commonly known examples of vinegar, though there are other kinds. The tart or sour flavor that vinegars have in common is attributed to the acetic acid.
What is a Balsamic Vinegar?
Balsamic vinegar production is similar to the making of wine. This complex aged balsamic vinegar is naturally flavored, using musts of traditional Modena, Italy grape varieties, mainly: Trebbiano, different kinds of Lambrusco, Spergola and Berzemino, with no additives. Open flame slow cooking of the grapes in copper cauldrons until the water content is reduced significantly, starts the process. The result is then stored in wooden barrels and an older balsamic vinegar is added to aid in the acetification. Transferring the vinegar between different barrels gives it a distinct flavor of each wood. The vinegar is divided by age: young 3-5 years maturation; middle 6-12 years; old 12 + years (up to 150 years!). The traditional style condimentos are aged in the same process, but a fine red wine vinegar is added to make it affordable to the common consumer.
The Certification of Traditional Balsamic Vinegar of Modena is Important:
By Italian law, DOP balsamic must then undergo strenuous sensory evaluation as well as laboratory analysis which measures extensive criteria including and most importantly, dry extract solids. Once approved as DOP, it can then only be sold in 100 ml. bottles which are identical based on two exclusive regions of production, Emilio Reggiano or Modena Italy. The bottles from each region are uniform in size and shape regardless of who produced the balsamic. The consortium then licenses the producer to use the 100 ml. DOP bottle which is then, wax sealed, numbered and boxed for individual sale. The wax sealed numbered bottles will never be sold unboxed, as a loose bottle by itself. Furthermore, it is never, sold in other types of bottles outside of the 100ml. DOP bottle, and certainly never in bulk, EVER! Furthermore, this product is rarely if ever used for cooking. It is far too prized and expensive. For this reason, it’s typically served drop by drop on a spoon, like a digestive after a meal. We urge you to open a tiny wax sealed and numbered bottle of DOP balsamic and compare it with our Traditional Style Balsamic Condimento of Modena, Italy. The similarity is remarkable.
Twist: Enjoy a drop on a spoon as a decadent treat.