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Ingredient of the Week: Balsamic Vinegar

FILE - In this Thursday, Oct. 13, 2016 file photo, supporters of the pro-democracy group "Invoke Article 50 Now!" hold a banner as pro-EU membership supporters hold EU flags on the first day of Gina Miller's, a founder of investment management group SCM Private, lawsuit at the High Court, in London. Prime Minister Theresa May wants to start Britain's divorce from the European Union. Eleven judges may stand in her way. On Monday, Dec. 5, 2016, May's government will ask Supreme Court justices to overturn a ruling that Parliament must hold a vote before Britain's exit negotiations can begin _ a case that has raised a constitutional quandary and inflamed the country's heated debate about Brexit. (AP Photo/Matt Dunham, File)

“There’s only two consortia who produce balsamic vinegar,” says chef Tom Douglas. “One in Mordova and in neighboring Reggio Emilia. True balsamic vinegar is made from a reduction of pressed Trebbiano and Lambrusco grapes.”

He says that’s where you get the thick, syrup quality of the vinegar. He adds that true balsamic vinegar is aged for a minimum of 12 years in a battery of seven barrels of successively smaller sizes. The vinegar has complex flavor that balances the natural sweet and sour elements of the cooked grape juice with hints of wood from the casks, he says.

Tom says he likes the vinegar on fruit more than cheese. “I like balsamic in a light dressing, where you’re just using a touch of it. Maybe a third balsamic and two-thirds red wine vinegar,” he says.

He recommends buying different brands to find out what you like best, and blending the others to use them up.

Whole Foods Markets are a proud sponsor of Seattle Kitchen’s Ingredient of the Week.

About the Author

Cait Walsh

Caitlyn Walsh is a regular lifestyles contributor for MyNorthwest. She enjoys reading and hiking, as well as perusing all the cat videos the Internet has to offer.

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