Balsamic vinegar?

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Splanchnic
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Balsamic vinegar?

Post by Splanchnic » Sun Mar 11, 2018 1:05 pm

We use quite a bit of balsamic vinegar. I prefer a real balsamic vinegar unlike what's commonly available at most grocery stores. I'm trying to find a good value balsamic vinegar. After some research, I bought the Kirkland brand. It's OK but watery and not great. Any ideas?

malabargold
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Re: Balsamic vinegar?

Post by malabargold » Sun Mar 11, 2018 1:08 pm

If you want less expensive but good (thick, tart-sweetish) “balsamic” go to any of innumerable franchisees of Veronica Foods, Oakland, Ca

mega317
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Re: Balsamic vinegar?

Post by mega317 » Sun Mar 11, 2018 1:10 pm

Huge fan of Fustini's. It's only in Michigan and I think one on Maui, but since moving from Michigan we've had it shipped. Not too expensive for how much we use.

FraggleRock
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Re: Balsamic vinegar?

Post by FraggleRock » Sun Mar 11, 2018 1:20 pm

Go to your local cheese shop.
Ask for help.

btenny
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Re: Balsamic vinegar?

Post by btenny » Sun Mar 11, 2018 1:33 pm

My wife and I try to buy balsamic from the Jacuzzi winery store when we are in Sonoma California. Jacuzzi is a old fashioned winery that sells Italian wine varieties and lots other stuff like olive oil and balsamic vinegar. The store is called the Olive Press. They specialize is local grown olive oils and vinegar. See below for the web sites. Their stuff is really excellent.

https://theolivepress.com/shop/catalog/balsamic-vinegar
http://www.jacuzziwines.com/theolivepress

daveydoo
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Re: Balsamic vinegar?

Post by daveydoo » Sun Mar 11, 2018 1:39 pm

Costco is good -- we have to cut it with red-wine vinegar for salad dressing (too acidic or too something for our taste).

For "real" balsamic, we have some La Vecchia Dispensa Condimento which one family member or other bought in a local foodie-type specialty store. It is the real deal -- thicker than maple syrup. A few drops on savory stuff, fruit, ice cream -- you name it. We almost never use it -- a few drops goes a long way. But it is amazing. Like the restaurant experience.
"I mean, it's one banana, Michael...what could it cost? Ten dollars?"

malabargold
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Re: Balsamic vinegar?

Post by malabargold » Sun Mar 11, 2018 2:35 pm

Most of the stuff you buy in locally cheese/oil/vinegar shops is
pushed through 2 chief suppliers, look for Veronica Foods
on the back of bottle

AddingUp
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Re: Balsamic vinegar?

Post by AddingUp » Sun Mar 11, 2018 7:21 pm

If you have an olive oil specialty shop near you, I'd suggest looking there. I've purchased some high-quality balsamic from these kinds of shops. They even let you taste a sample before purchasing so you can find exactly what you're looking for.

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daytona084
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Re: Balsamic vinegar?

Post by daytona084 » Sun Mar 11, 2018 7:27 pm

+1 on Fustini's

magicrat
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Re: Balsamic vinegar?

Post by magicrat » Sun Mar 11, 2018 7:41 pm


wfrobinette
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Re: Balsamic vinegar?

Post by wfrobinette » Mon Mar 12, 2018 1:44 pm

Splanchnic wrote:
Sun Mar 11, 2018 1:05 pm
We use quite a bit of balsamic vinegar. I prefer a real balsamic vinegar unlike what's commonly available at most grocery stores. I'm trying to find a good value balsamic vinegar. After some research, I bought the Kirkland brand. It's OK but watery and not great. Any ideas?
I prefer zingermanns 10 year house brand. VECCHIA DISPENSA'S 10 YEAR AGED BALSAMIC. A little goes a long way and It's the real deal.

Their 16 year is awesome and both go on deep discount in Jan. I haven't tried the 6 year but its quite a bit cheaper than the 10.

I usually use a dropper to dole this stuff out so I don't waste a drop.

They have good oils as well.

Want to go out. Modena Gold Label Balsamic $200 a bottle. Had it once and it was unbelievable.

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Alexa9
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Re: Balsamic vinegar?

Post by Alexa9 » Mon Mar 12, 2018 2:17 pm

I find Costco Kirkland brand to be excellent. Their olive oil is also great. For the amount we use (every day), you can't go wrong with it. Sometimes the fancier ones are fun to try, but I don't find it to be worth it.

barnaclebob
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Re: Balsamic vinegar?

Post by barnaclebob » Mon Mar 12, 2018 2:33 pm

Alexa9 wrote:
Mon Mar 12, 2018 2:17 pm
I find Costco Kirkland brand to be excellent. Their olive oil is also great. For the amount we use (every day), you can't go wrong with it. Sometimes the fancier ones are fun to try, but I don't find it to be worth it.
We've got both Kirkland and some good stuff in our pantry, the Kirkland isn't even close to it in terms of quality, consistency, and flavor. We use the good stuff for salads and the cheap kirkland for cooking and recipes.

wilked
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Re: Balsamic vinegar?

Post by wilked » Mon Mar 12, 2018 2:42 pm

barnaclebob wrote:
Mon Mar 12, 2018 2:33 pm
Alexa9 wrote:
Mon Mar 12, 2018 2:17 pm
I find Costco Kirkland brand to be excellent. Their olive oil is also great. For the amount we use (every day), you can't go wrong with it. Sometimes the fancier ones are fun to try, but I don't find it to be worth it.
We've got both Kirkland and some good stuff in our pantry, the Kirkland isn't even close to it in terms of quality, consistency, and flavor. We use the good stuff for salads and the cheap kirkland for cooking and recipes.
Agreed, the Kirkland was ok until I actually tried the real stuff. Once you taste that you can't go back

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Alexa9
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Re: Balsamic vinegar?

Post by Alexa9 » Mon Mar 12, 2018 2:46 pm

barnaclebob wrote:
Mon Mar 12, 2018 2:33 pm
We've got both Kirkland and some good stuff in our pantry, the Kirkland isn't even close to it in terms of quality, consistency, and flavor.
https://www.ocregister.com/2010/09/30/b ... aste-test/

Kirkland Olive Oil and Balsamic have won several awards and they're usually the cheapest. You know what they say about opinions though. Sure, the one that costs 5x as much tastes better.

wilked
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Re: Balsamic vinegar?

Post by wilked » Mon Mar 12, 2018 3:42 pm

Alexa9 wrote:
Mon Mar 12, 2018 2:46 pm
barnaclebob wrote:
Mon Mar 12, 2018 2:33 pm
We've got both Kirkland and some good stuff in our pantry, the Kirkland isn't even close to it in terms of quality, consistency, and flavor.
https://www.ocregister.com/2010/09/30/b ... aste-test/

Kirkland Olive Oil and Balsamic have won several awards and they're usually the cheapest. You know what they say about opinions though. Sure, the one that costs 5x as much tastes better.
I don't think anyone is disagreeing that Kirkland is one of the better 'supermarket' balsamics. It does well against that competition. It just doesn't come close to a good "high-quality" variety. And I don't think anyone would really expect it to, honestly.

JoeRetire
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Re: Balsamic vinegar?

Post by JoeRetire » Mon Mar 12, 2018 3:49 pm

Splanchnic wrote:
Sun Mar 11, 2018 1:05 pm
We use quite a bit of balsamic vinegar. I prefer a real balsamic vinegar unlike what's commonly available at most grocery stores. I'm trying to find a good value balsamic vinegar. After some research, I bought the Kirkland brand. It's OK but watery and not great. Any ideas?
We use Ariston baslamic.
We get it at a local bread shop. It comes in refillable containers. We use it when we want "the good stuff".

Not watery at all. And they have several interesting balsamic infusions as well.

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Alexa9
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Re: Balsamic vinegar?

Post by Alexa9 » Mon Mar 12, 2018 4:02 pm

wilked wrote:
Mon Mar 12, 2018 3:42 pm
Alexa9 wrote:
Mon Mar 12, 2018 2:46 pm
barnaclebob wrote:
Mon Mar 12, 2018 2:33 pm
We've got both Kirkland and some good stuff in our pantry, the Kirkland isn't even close to it in terms of quality, consistency, and flavor.
https://www.ocregister.com/2010/09/30/b ... aste-test/

Kirkland Olive Oil and Balsamic have won several awards and they're usually the cheapest. You know what they say about opinions though. Sure, the one that costs 5x as much tastes better.
I don't think anyone is disagreeing that Kirkland is one of the better 'supermarket' balsamics. It does well against that competition. It just doesn't come close to a good "high-quality" variety. And I don't think anyone would really expect it to, honestly.
Taste is subjective. I suppose Kirkland brand is "good enough" for plebian tastebuds.

BanquetBeer
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Re: Balsamic vinegar?

Post by BanquetBeer » Mon Mar 12, 2018 6:23 pm

Alexa9 wrote:
Mon Mar 12, 2018 4:02 pm
wilked wrote:
Mon Mar 12, 2018 3:42 pm
Alexa9 wrote:
Mon Mar 12, 2018 2:46 pm
barnaclebob wrote:
Mon Mar 12, 2018 2:33 pm
We've got both Kirkland and some good stuff in our pantry, the Kirkland isn't even close to it in terms of quality, consistency, and flavor.
https://www.ocregister.com/2010/09/30/b ... aste-test/

Kirkland Olive Oil and Balsamic have won several awards and they're usually the cheapest. You know what they say about opinions though. Sure, the one that costs 5x as much tastes better.
I don't think anyone is disagreeing that Kirkland is one of the better 'supermarket' balsamics. It does well against that competition. It just doesn't come close to a good "high-quality" variety. And I don't think anyone would really expect it to, honestly.
Taste is subjective. I suppose Kirkland brand is "good enough" for plebian tastebuds.
I’m guessing you haven’t had the real stuff? It comes out more like syrup consistency than the water you get at Costco. It’s like comparing Busch lite to Chimay beers.

I didn’t see much but local places to get it. Maybe I’ll have to dig around in Houston - key being good value as opposed to paying extra $ fo shopping or the ambiance/location of the store.

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Alexa9
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Re: Balsamic vinegar?

Post by Alexa9 » Mon Mar 12, 2018 7:01 pm

BanquetBeer wrote:
Mon Mar 12, 2018 6:23 pm
I’m guessing you haven’t had the real stuff? It comes out more like syrup consistency than the water you get at Costco. It’s like comparing Busch lite to Chimay beers.
I didn’t see much but local places to get it. Maybe I’ll have to dig around in Houston - key being good value as opposed to paying extra $ fo shopping or the ambiance/location of the store.
I find most balsamic overpriced and overrated (same with Chimay). Most people that think they are some kind of connoisseur/aficionado (snob) assume more expensive equates with higher quality. Different strokes for different folks.

Nearly A Moose
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Re: Balsamic vinegar?

Post by Nearly A Moose » Mon Mar 12, 2018 10:30 pm

btenny wrote:
Sun Mar 11, 2018 1:33 pm
My wife and I try to buy balsamic from the Jacuzzi winery store when we are in Sonoma California. Jacuzzi is a old fashioned winery that sells Italian wine varieties and lots other stuff like olive oil and balsamic vinegar. The store is called the Olive Press. They specialize is local grown olive oils and vinegar. See below for the web sites. Their stuff is really excellent.

https://theolivepress.com/shop/catalog/balsamic-vinegar
http://www.jacuzziwines.com/theolivepress
Oooh, good memories!
Pardon typos, I'm probably using my fat thumbs on a tiny phone.

UpperNwGuy
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Re: Balsamic vinegar?

Post by UpperNwGuy » Mon Mar 12, 2018 10:49 pm

Whole Foods usually has one or two good choices. Also, most medium and large cities have one or more Italian groceries that carry it.
Buy-and-hold retired investor with a 60/40 taxable portfolio: Total Stock + Total Int'l + Total Bond + Interm Term Tax Exempt.

rgs92
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Re: Balsamic vinegar?

Post by rgs92 » Mon Mar 12, 2018 11:18 pm

Williams-Sonoma has some really good ones, but they are pricey.
(You could drink them; they're really that tasty.)

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William4u
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Re: Balsamic vinegar?

Post by William4u » Tue Mar 13, 2018 12:07 am

I love balsamic vinegar, and love the good stuff.

I have never found really good balsamic vinegar in a chain store. I consider that stuff the equivalent of drinking Boone's Farm wine. I only use that for mixing in recipes in which the balsamic taste is faint.

The decent stuff can be ordered on amazon. DOP Certified Modena or its equivalent is the way to go if you just drizzle it on salads or fruit. The real aged Modena stuff is naturally thick (not thickened with sugar like the products with "glaze" in the title).

It is pricey ($30 per 8 oz, but some are much more) compared to cosco. But the small bottles last a long time since 1 teaspoon can deeply flavor a salad and make it delicious.

I would not use this more expensive stuff in a balsamic chicken marinade that requires a full cup (my spouse did this once and I was none too pleased). For that kind of marinade the cheap cosco stuff is fine. If you are mixing it with a packaged salad dressing mix, I would use the cheap cosco stuff as well.

Here is the decent stuff...
https://www.amazon.com/Vecchia-Dispensa ... B000X2NEGC
https://www.amazon.com/MiaBella-MB1-Bal ... 00CMGRNAK/
https://www.amazon.com/Villa-Manodori-B ... 0007UQ73W/
https://www.amazon.com/Gourmet-Living-B ... 013RWW730/
https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B013PKGYC4/

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jabberwockOG
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Re: Balsamic vinegar?

Post by jabberwockOG » Tue Mar 13, 2018 7:43 am

Alexa9 wrote:
Mon Mar 12, 2018 2:17 pm
I find Costco Kirkland brand to be excellent. Their olive oil is also great. For the amount we use (every day), you can't go wrong with it. Sometimes the fancier ones are fun to try, but I don't find it to be worth it.
100% agree. I use Costco balsamic and their olive oil almost every day to make vinaigrette for salads and for the price the Costco Kirkland balsamic cannot be beat.

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jabberwockOG
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Re: Balsamic vinegar?

Post by jabberwockOG » Tue Mar 13, 2018 7:46 am

jabberwockOG wrote:
Tue Mar 13, 2018 7:43 am
Alexa9 wrote:
Mon Mar 12, 2018 2:17 pm
I find Costco Kirkland brand to be excellent. Their olive oil is also great. For the amount we use (every day), you can't go wrong with it. Sometimes the fancier ones are fun to try, but I don't find it to be worth it.
100% agree. I use Costco balsamic and their olive oil almost every day to make vinaigrette for salads and for the price the Costco Kirkland balsamic cannot be beat. Of course the Kirkland balsamic is meant for every day use and not meant to be used by the dropper-full like the specialty balsamics that cost $50-200 per tiny bottle.

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jabberwockOG
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Re: Balsamic vinegar?

Post by jabberwockOG » Tue Mar 13, 2018 7:47 am

Alexa9 wrote:
Mon Mar 12, 2018 2:17 pm
I find Costco Kirkland brand to be excellent. Their olive oil is also great. For the amount we use (every day), you can't go wrong with it. Sometimes the fancier ones are fun to try, but I don't find it to be worth it.
100% agree. I use Costco balsamic and their olive oil almost every day to make vinaigrette for salads and for the price the Costco Kirkland balsamic cannot be beat. Of course the Kirkland balsamic is meant for every day use and not meant to be used by the dropper-full like the specialty balsamics that cost $50-200 per tiny bottle.

Leemiller
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Re: Balsamic vinegar?

Post by Leemiller » Tue Mar 13, 2018 7:58 am

Oliviers & co. makes one that I like. It is syrupy and has a sweetness to it, unlike the many bitter ones I’ve tried. Beats staring at a shelf of options in Whole Foods.

notorious
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Re: Balsamic vinegar?

Post by notorious » Tue Mar 13, 2018 10:19 am

Everyone in the family loves the 25-Year Barrel-Aged Balsamic Vinegar from Olivier that is available at Williams Sonoma - it is $30, but really is the best that we have found that is easily accessible.

Do not suggest anything else at WS other than Olivier.

Splanchnic
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Re: Balsamic vinegar?

Post by Splanchnic » Fri Mar 23, 2018 3:46 pm

I purchased some Olivier at Williams Sonoma. As usual, Bogleheads came through. Great balsamic for the money! Thanks!

Paddygirl
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Re: Balsamic vinegar?

Post by Paddygirl » Fri Mar 23, 2018 8:02 pm

IF you want syrupy, just buy a cheap brand at Costco and put it in a pan under a low flame and reduce it by 1/4 or a half. Bingo. Delish.

Independent George
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Re: Balsamic vinegar?

Post by Independent George » Fri Mar 23, 2018 11:15 pm

I really like Lucero. It's a bit pricey with shipping, but I don't use anything else now.

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