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Reviewed by Emily-Jane Hills Orford for Readers' Favorite
Balsamic vinegar. Many of us use it without realizing what we’re using. But, then again, with all the modifications enforced on many products, including different types of vinegars like balsamic, it’s no wonder we’re not aware of what it is. In fact, given the wide selection available in supermarkets, it’s understandable that we might think we know what it is, but we really don’t. And we certainly haven’t tasted the ‘real’ thing.
Personally, I love balsamic vinegar. Given all its health benefits and supreme taste, I don’t hesitate to add it to salads, vegetable dishes, and as a marinade on meats, poultry, and even fish. However, I haven’t had the benefit of tasting real balsamic vinegar, made from a special type of grape, created in its purest form in the Italian region of Emilia-Romagna. As author Fenton T. James describes it in his helpful little eBook, “Balsamic Vinegar: A history, introduction to key styles and more”, confronting the true balsamic vinegar begins with the visual impression: “a type of iridescent beauty, almost ethereal, and quite striking”. This is followed by the aroma: “raisin, black cherry, Port, Sherry, tar, clove, treacle, cedar, cinnamon and black pepper”, an experience the author claimed was “quite heady”. And then there’s the taste: “a delicate sourness, tart acidity, and light astringency checked by a bright sweetness.” There’s nothing in this world that can duplicate this true balsamic experience.
This little eBook is a helpful guide to help us all discover the true balsamic vinegar. The author has done considerable research and provides the reader with insight into the history of balsamic vinegar, its significant attributes and its creation. A very concise read. I learned a lot and I will certainly be more astute in the balsamic vinegar I choose to use in the future.