Chef on a Shoestring

Sunday, August 06, 2006

Fine Extra Virgin Olive Oil and Balsamic Vinegar



Some times you just have to pay the extra money to get the flavors you want. No I’m not saying go out and buy truffles or filet mignon, the point of this blog is to talk about inexpensive great cooking, but if you spend a little bit more money on your spices, oils and vinegars you will smell and taste a difference in your food. My sister recently went to Italy for two weeks and brought back some culinary delights including some of Modena’s famous balsamic vinegar. This stuff is to die for, it’s not like the stuff you buy off the shelves at the grocery that’s full of corn syrup and artificial sweeteners, this stuff is the real deal. She brought back two types of balsamic vinegar, one by the name of Ortalli and the other Gusppie Giusti, both of which were aged in oak barrels, as opposed to cherry, chestnut or mulberry. We opened the Gusppie Giusti first and it is what we have been using all summer. You can tell from the instant you pour the vinegar a difference in the quality. The balsamic vinegar which she brought back from Italy is a deep reddish purple, and pours thick dripping out of the bottle. A bottle of fine balsamic vinegar such as an Italian balsamic is tough to come buy in the grocery unless you live in a large city such as New York or Los Angeles so I would suggest buying online, I know that what ill be doing as soon as I run out.

Spending the extra money on a fine balsamic or a fine olive oil is a nice treat which is worth the money because it will last you some time in comparison to buying an expensive cut of meat or bottle of wine that will be gone the next day. Using a quality product on an inexspenive piece of meat will sure liven up your tastes buds and make that $10 flank steak taste like a $25 NY Strip.

If anyone is interested I can post pictures of an olive oil production facility which she visted in Imola next time just let me know!