Balsamic Vinegar and Benefits
Balsamic vinegar is a taste that appeals to everyone’s taste, combining sweet and sour in a balanced way in our kitchen. Balsamic vinegar, which accompanies many dishes at the tables, is one of the flavors that must be present in every home due to amazing benefits it adds to our health as well as adding flavor.
Although not much is known, balsamic vinegar, which is in fact the flavour unique to Italy, has such an ancient history that has been able to come unchanged from Middle Ages to present day.
Balsamic vinegar, a very special sauce, is made from grapes grown in the Modena region of Italy. It is indispensable in Italian cuisine; are used white Trebbiano, white Occhio di Gatto, Spergola, red Berzemino and Lambrusco grapes.
It has a different flavor according to type of tree. The production of balsamic vinegar requires a great deal of effort and the flavor is much better than the other vinegar types. For this reason, balsamic vinegar is much more expensive than other vinegar.
What Are The Health Benefits Of Balsamic Vinegar?
Balsamic vinegar, of course, adds a very different and pleasant taste to the dishes and salads. But there are too many health problems where this vinegar is healing. Balsamic vinegar, considered a “youth potion” in ancient times, is beneficial to the functions of all systems in the body, from respiratory system, to the digestive system, to the circulatory system.
- Balances blood sugar, is good for diabetes.
- It balances cholesterol in a short period of time when consumed regularly.
- It is good for stomach health, cures stomach pains and gastritis.
- Strengthens the immune system, provides protection against diseases.
- Protects heart health.
- Strengthens the circulatory system.
- It is effective against stress and sleep problems due to spiritually, mentally calming feature.
- Fixes bleeding problems, especially nosebleeds.
- Plays a complementary role in the problem of decreasing enzyme production when there is a mineral deficiency in the body.
- Revitalizes body’s hormone production.
- Supports mental functions, strengthens memory.
- Protects general skin health, helps treat acne, eczema and other problems that occur on the skin.
- Cleanses to body from bacteria and germs.
- Treats vaginal infections.
Balsamic Vinegar is Known as a Sacred Drink
Balsamic vinegar, which is a panacea of a thousand problems, was supposed to be watered and drunk in ancient times. One by one, helps in the treatment of many ailments, as well as is known to be good for all body health.
Which is often used in salads and meals, shows many different disease-protective properties when drunk by mixing a teaspoon of water into a glass in the morning.
In many countries, especially Italy, it is recommended to consume as much as a teaspoon of balsamic vinegar after meals to help digestion.
In this way, digestive problems are not experienced or existing problems are eased. In this respect, balsamic vinegar is known to be a protective, preventative source of healing.
Varieties Vary According to Quality
As described above, homeland of balsamic vinegar is Italy and the best quality balsamic vinegar is produced in Italy. Real balsamic vinegar is produced by consortia of Modena and Reggio Emilia in Italy.
Other than these, which are easily found on market shelves, are industrial-type balsamic vinegar and are not real.
As it should be, those who produce real balsamic vinegar by traditional methods have introduced some mandatory criteria to ensure that industrial type, commercial vinegar producers do not reduce quality. Balsamic vinegars must be prepared in accordance with these rules.
According to the waiting times of Reggio Emilia balsamic vinegars, the label colors are as follows:
- Vinegars waiting 12 years with red label,
- 18 years waiting vinegars labeled in Silver color,
- Vinegars that wait for 25 years and a long time will be labeled in gold color.
How To Make Balsamic Vinegar At Home?
It can be easily prepared in very natural and hygienic conditions at home. However, this requires a long and painstaking preparation. It is possible to obtain balsamic vinegar, which is offered for sale at very high prices when necessary conditions are met, at a much more affordable cost.
While apple and grape vinegar are prepared at home, no fermentation process is done in the making of balsamic vinegar.
The grape is left for a long time after boiling, and just like in winemaking, this waiting period is the secret to its quality and flavour. There are even balsamic vinegars in Italy that have been kept for over 100 years. The vinegars that are kept for such long periods are very high quality.
Materials Required for Production of Balsamic Vinegar;
- Wood barrels.
- A large cauldron and strainer.
Tips for Making
1. Must be Used Wood Barrels
While wood barrels add more flavor to vinegar, plastic or glass containers cannot give the desired flavor to vinegar. Should be in the barrel for the desired spicy taste and specific smell.
2. Barrels Must be Sterilized
The barrel in which the vinegar will be made and kept must be sterilized before. For this reason, before starting to make vinegar, the cask must be cleaned in order to avoid any contamination, microbial, bacterial formation and to be fermented successfully.
3. Should be Considered to Ratio of Liquid and Grapes
In order for the vinegar to form as desired, the liquid and grape ratio must be adjusted correctly. For this purpose, 3-fourths of the barrel should be filled with liquid, so the amount of grapes to be used should be calculated and selected according to the size and number of the barrel.
4. Right Grapes Should be Preferred
The grapes to be used in making balsamic vinegars should be similar to white grapes, such as those grown in Modena, Italy. It is also very important to choose mature ones of these white grapes.
Stages of Balsamic Vinegar
1. Cleaning and Boiling
After selecting the right grapes, thoroughly washed and crushed. Crushed grapes are sieved to separate them from the seeds. Grape musts filtered in the strainer are kept in a clean area under the sun. Thanks to the sun’s heat, the consistency of grape must is more intense.
It is enough to keep the grapes under the sun for 15 – 20 minutes. Then is necessary to boil at 90 degrees for the sugar in the grapes to caramelize and thicken.
Fermentation fails if boiled to a higher degree. In this way, a part of the grape must slowly evaporates and flies, and the rest gets thicker and syrupy. In this way, the lid is boiled for a long time without being closed.
2. Cooling and Placing in Barrels
After the boiling process finished and grapes have the necessary consistency, cooling process starts. Cooling process should be done especially in non-reactive containers, i.e. in containers such as glass and steel.
After cooling, fermented grape must is filled into barrels. After waiting for 6 months in barrels; as vinegar darkens over time, is stored by transferring from big barrel to small barrel.
After transfer to the barrel, the barrel is wrapped with a small perforated, lightweight fabric that provides air, so that air flow and evaporation of the balsamic vinegar are not prevented.
During this process, barrels must be stored in an aired place. In time, vinegar has a more special taste. The vinegar is now filled into bottles and consumed within 5 years after its final form. Non-bottled vinegar vinegar can be stored for much longer years.