Beyond Balsamico

Not Only Balsamic: all types of vinegar to use in the kitchen

In Italy a salad is “dressed” exclusively with olive oil, vinegar, salt, and pepper. Some ready made “dressings” can be found on the supermarket shelves, especially the ones that carry international items. But for an Italian nothing beats the simplicity of the OIL & VINEGAR, or lemon occasionally. And rightfully so. It is not just simpler, it is healthier too, and the amounts can be controlled easily, usually the dressing is done at the last minute by the diner him/herself.

However, when we talk about condiments our mind goes to the most classic of those used in Italy, extra virgin olive oil, but we must admit that more and more people decide to season their dishes with another great friend of the table: vinegar.

The types of vinegar, in Italy and in the world, are many and each of them hides properties and qualities that are perfect for the palate and the body. The types of vinegar that we will list should not be kept in the refrigerator and should be stored in a cool place away from light.


The Classics of the Italian Cuisine

The most common type is wine vinegar, which can be produced from a white or a red wine. It is mainly used to season raw vegetables, especially salads, but some chefs have also used it to give life to some sauces, such as mayonnaise and Bernese sauce. Red vinegar, which has a very strong taste and therefore not always pleases everyone, is usually used for marinating, especially game meat such as rabbit, hare, birds (I would never eat those creatures, maybe it is just me). It is also used for salads – as long as, in fact, they like strong flavors – and to season roast meat. Instead, I absolutely love to dress a simple tomatoes salad with RED vinegar (& Co.); then on the dish there is all the lovely juice + red vinegar to needs to be scooped up with some fresh bread. Priceless! ūüôā

Balsamic Vinegar (Better Known as Aceto Balsamico)

Immediately after we find a type of precious vinegar, balsamic vinegar. Used in kitchens around the world, balsamic vinegar comes from a grape juice (unfermented but cooked) that is aged in wooden barrels. Its high quality depends on the type of wood used, the skill of the producer and the number of cask rack pouring: this is why it is often said that producing balsamic vinegar can be as demanding as (or more than) producing a bottle of the best wine. The taste of this type of vinegar is bittersweet and this is why it goes well with any type of combination: from salads to raw fish, from meat to strawberries and ice cream.


See more All About Balsamic

White Vinegar

The Ponti company (a leading Italian firm for Wine Vinegar, Balsamic Vinegar of Modena, and other food products), recently created a new product called Ponti White Dressings or DOLCEAGRO in Italian. It is the new delicate condiment with low acidity that comes from the skilful mixing of perfumed grape must and wine vinegar. DOLCEAGRO gives a touch of delicacy to salads and cooked vegetables but also to white meats and fish. Two drops on the fruit salad enhance its fragrance. Because of its light and delicate taste it is particularly suitable for salads or meat marinating.

Ponti S.p.A. 


Posted by

I lived the most part of my life in Washington DC, now in Italy getting to know again my country. Plenty of surprises, for good and bad, and lots of nostalgia for DC.

3 thoughts on “Beyond Balsamico

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s