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Balsamic Vinegar – Uses, Benefit and History

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Balsamic Vinegar, which we better know as Aceto Balsamico di Modena. This vinegar is  cultural heritage of people of Modena and Reggio. In early 80’s some culinary experts and chefs found out a dark, thick, and sweet version of red wine vinegar from the town of modena. And soon after everyone fell in love with this delicious dark sour liquid. Balsamic came to limelight in 80’s, yet its history is way to long and interesting.

Balsamic was first recorded in 11th century BCE in Emilia Romagna. When it was a duchy under Estes family. During the middle ages, this dark sour nectar was enjoyed by the royals as a refined drink and believed as a remedy of plague. After the fall of Estes family, the recipe of balsamico was confined to the region of Emilia. Even the neighbour Italians didn’t know the vinegar of this region. But the people of modena and reggio used to make balsamic as an art form. It was something which was passed down through generations. Even balsamic was given to daughter as dowry. New barrels were started at the birth and given away at weddings to newer generations.

This is how symbolic balsamic is for the people of modena and reggio. Nowadays, almost 7 out of 10 bottle of balsamico is imitated. Soon after the 80’s the demand of balsamico inflated rapidly. And people of modena and reggio doesn’t cope with the demand. So imitation of balsamico started, the fake balsamico mainly contains red wine, food colouring and taste additives. This factor of demand and supply makes the authentic and real balsamic vinegar costly. In 1987, Ministry of Agriculture of Italy, gave Geographical Indication of balsamic vinegar to town of modena and reggio. which made it more rear and costly.

balsamic cask
 Source – Gettyimages

Health Benefits of Balsamico

Balsamic vinegar besides its flavour and taste have many beneficial properties to it, ranging from skin complexion to lowering cholesterol. So lets look some of the benefits of balsamico
  • Balsamic contains antimicrobial compounds, anti oxidants and acetic acid. These all compounds help to improve the skin health and improve the complexion too. But should not be applied directly, since it can cause stains because of high quantity of acetic acid.
  • Acetic acid present in balsamico contains probiotics, which aids and helps in digestion.
  • Probiotics in balsamic vinegar also helps to suppresses the hunger. ome studies suggests that people take fewer calorie intake after adding balsamic to their diet. So basically, balsamic can help you to loss the weight.
  • Balsamico can be use for treating wounds, since it has antifungal, antibacterial and antiviral properties.
  • Balsamico is made from grapes and studies suggests that grapes prevent building up of platelets in the blood vessels, thus decreasing the chances of cardiac arrest and other cardiovascular problems
  • Balsamic vinegar helps to regulate the blood sugar level. It contains anti glycaemic compound. which regulate the sugar level just after the meal.

Uses of Balsamic Vinegar

Balsamic vinegar is majorly used in salads as vinaigrette dressing. Balsamic reduction is drizzle over many salads, fruits, meat to give tartness to the dish. I personally like balsamic drizzled on rich French vanilla ice cream, the combination might surprise you, but the surprise is out of the world. I recommend everyone to try this combination. Also balsamic reduction is the key ingredient of caprese salad. It is also used as a after meal drink to improve the digestion. Balsamic vinegar is very versatile ingredient, so use it according to your liking and experiment it with your recipes.

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