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View Full Version : Can someone point me toward a decent balsamic for daily use?



rahimlee54
07-02-2012, 06:46 PM
I have been trying different stuff here and there for the past few months and I was wondering if anyone can point me in a good direction? I found something that is pretty good at a specialty Olive oil store, but I think there is something cheaper that is just as good.

Thanks
Jared

schanop
07-02-2012, 06:56 PM
Get the traditional stuff, 12 years old or 12 transfers is very affordable. 15 years one is not too expensive yet. You can always get one from the makers who bottle in their own bottle, and not the round tulip shape bottle which is endorsed by the balsamic vinegar consortium.

Another option if it's going to be diluted or cooked, or put in salad, saba and vincotto would be good.

SameGuy
07-02-2012, 07:42 PM
Honestly, it depends on the use. At home we're about as picky with our balsamic and EVOO as we are with our wines. That is to say: not very. For daily use, we like Costco's Kirkland-branded, imported Modenese balsamic vinegar; it must have a numbered "Consorzio" stamp and/or seal on the bottle to guarantee it is an authentic vinegar. There are authentic balsamic vinegars from wine regions outside of Italy, but the seal makes it very easy to confirm you're getting a balsamic made from wine grapes. The Kirkland Signature stuff is a bargain, and is perfectly fine for quick dressings, or to make simple reductions to put on strawberries or to to dress a Caprese salad. I also keep a "tradizionale" on hand, usually aged 7 to 15 years, but it gets used very sparingly -- almost always on late-summer tomatoes from my kitchen garden (or a Caprese made with them). The traditional stuff can get spendy, though. I have a tough time justifying the expense. :)

RobinW
07-02-2012, 08:28 PM
For every day use we used the Costco Kirkland. Perfectly fine but not very exciting.
For fine use the cheap is not really achievable, but ohhhh so good!

SameGuy
07-02-2012, 08:37 PM
Yep, exactly. A couple of drops of 12-year-old traditional on a chunk of Reggiano cheese is one of those rare treats in life!

schanop
07-02-2012, 08:57 PM
Wait till you try a teaspoonful of 25/30 years old by itself, or with some flakes of parmigiano reggiano.

rahimlee54
07-02-2012, 09:23 PM
I still haven't put up the dough for the really good traditional stuff, at some point in life I plan on buying a bottle. At this point it will have to wait.

sachem allison
07-02-2012, 09:58 PM
I have been trying different stuff here and there for the past few months and I was wondering if anyone can point me in a good direction? I found something that is pretty good at a specialty Olive oil store, but I think there is something cheaper that is just as good.

Thanks
Jared

do you have a Marshalls or Tj maxx store near you, head to the kitchen section, they buy close outs from gourmet stores and sometimes you can find really good balsamic for cheap and lots of spices too. there is one in the highpoint mall.

Crothcipt
07-02-2012, 10:16 PM
Wait till you try a teaspoonful of 25/30 years old by itself, or with some flakes of parmigiano reggiano.

The aged over 20 yrs stuff is so good. You just can't have enough.

SameGuy
07-02-2012, 10:22 PM
do you have a Marshalls or Tj maxx store near you, head to the kitchen section, they buy close outs from gourmet stores and sometimes you can find really good balsamic for cheap and lots of spices too. there is one in the highpoint mall.

Big Lots, too. Actually rather shocking that I can get high-end, gourmet ingredients at a Big Lots in tiny Plattsburgh, NY, that I have trouble finding in a foodie-haven city like Montreal.

TB_London
07-03-2012, 05:33 PM
Just got back from 12 days in Italy, and the good stuff is gooooood :D

Keith Neal
07-03-2012, 06:05 PM
I have been trying different stuff here and there for the past few months and I was wondering if anyone can point me in a good direction? I found something that is pretty good at a specialty Olive oil store, but I think there is something cheaper that is just as good.

Thanks
Jared

This is really excellent -- close to the traditional balsamic. It does not take too much, and is infinitely better than the coke syrup stuff.

http://www.williams-sonoma.com/products/vsop-balsamic-vinegar/?pkey=cvinegars

Andrew H
07-03-2012, 06:25 PM
Honestly, it depends on the use. At home we're about as picky with our balsamic and EVOO as we are with our wines. That is to say: not very. For daily use, we like Costco's Kirkland-branded, imported Modenese balsamic vinegar; it must have a numbered "Consorzio" stamp and/or seal on the bottle to guarantee it is an authentic vinegar. There are authentic balsamic vinegars from wine regions outside of Italy, but the seal makes it very easy to confirm you're getting a balsamic made from wine grapes. The Kirkland Signature stuff is a bargain, and is perfectly fine for quick dressings, or to make simple reductions to put on strawberries or to to dress a Caprese salad. I also keep a "tradizionale" on hand, usually aged 7 to 15 years, but it gets used very sparingly -- almost always on late-summer tomatoes from my kitchen garden (or a Caprese made with them). The traditional stuff can get spendy, though. I have a tough time justifying the expense. :)

Is this the one you're talking about? http://www.costco.com/Browse/Product.aspx?ec=BD_115-EC9920-ProdID10180867&pos=0&whse=bd_115&topnav=bd&prodid=10181411&lang=en-US

SameGuy
07-03-2012, 10:41 PM
Yeah. In store, it'll have the "consorzio" numbered seal (even though it's a brewed vinegar and not an aged "aceto tradizionale"). It is very serviceable for general use. This evening I made a simple 1/3 reduction with a tiny amount of butter and it is just lovely -- sweet and tangy, with a simple bouquet. Just great with EVOO in a plate for dipping, and drizzled over my Caprese.

Tonight's Caprese was a knockout: market Roma tomatoes, pink Himalayan salt, domestic bufala, fresh basil from my garden, a few turns of Tellicherry, a fairly generous amount of single-origin EVOO (Beretta, from Siena) and a few turns of organic Equinox maple flakes (http://www.decacer.com/english/FLOCONS-D-ERABLE.html), with a final topping of the balsamic reduction. MMMMMMMmmmmmmmmm!

Mingooch
07-04-2012, 08:32 AM
You guys have me drooling. I had some 125 yr old balsamic, it was heavenly. I am out now :( It slowly poured like syrup

Duckfat
07-04-2012, 08:38 AM
Is this the one you're talking about? http://www.costco.com/Browse/Product.aspx?ec=BD_115-EC9920-ProdID10180867&pos=0&whse=bd_115&topnav=bd&prodid=10181411&lang=en-US

That's an outstanding product for the price and it will stand up to a lot of Balsamic sold at 3x the price. The Whole Foods 365 brand is excellent as well.
If your a Costco member don't over look the Kirkland estate EVOO.

Dave

Tristan
07-04-2012, 09:11 AM
I use leonardi richette... since I've found it I've never turned back. Not sure what it costs in your neck of the woods... But their 12 is excellent, as is their 15. One day i'll buy a bottle of 50 years...

SameGuy
07-04-2012, 10:27 AM
http://oi30.tinypic.com/nvwdie.jpg

RiffRaff
07-04-2012, 10:29 AM
If there's a Trader Joe's near you, their one-size-only balsamic is good out of the bottle for casual use and, as others have suggested, is even better if reduced by half (with a teaspoon of honey optional). Same method applies to the Costco balsamic. In New York, where the options are endless, I have found the store-brand balsamic at Citarella (small, curved 250ml bottle) at $24 to be expensive but worth every penny and better than the 12-24 years aged balsamic available elsewhere.

SameGuy
07-04-2012, 10:34 AM
That's an outstanding product for the price and it will stand up to a lot of Balsamic sold at 3x the price. The Whole Foods 365 brand is excellent as well.
If your a Costco member don't over look the Kirkland estate EVOO.

Dave

It's true, both are really good for the price. Up here we also have President's Choice, the private label of the Loblaw's supermarket chain. Their range of imported balsamics and EVOOs are worthy as well, starting at about the same prices as Kirkland Signature.