Creme & Dressing
What is balsamic cream?
Balsamic Cream is a highly concentrated condiment based on Aceto Balsamico. This famous balsamic vinegar from the northern Italian provinces of Modena and Reggio Emilia is characterized by its rich, dark brown color, its typical, intense scent of fruit and cooked and - compared to conventional wine, apple or spirit vinegar - thicker consistency. The latter is due to the fact that balsamic vinegar is made from boiled grape must, which is very viscous due to the long cooking process.
Creme & Dressing
What is the difference between balsamic cream and balsamic vinegar?
The essential difference between the two condiments is their consistency: as the term balsamic cream already indicates, this is a creamy substance - its consistency is comparable to that of mustard, mayonnaise or cream yoghurt. This thickness is achieved by the addition of concentrated thickened grape must and starch, such as corn starch, to the balsamic vinegar as a basic ingredient.
Another difference is in the dosage form: due to its creamy consistency and high concentration, balsamic cream is mostly available in smaller bottles, usually between 100 and 250 ml. For ease of handling, the small bottles are also made of plastic and are usually provided with a dosing attachment, so that the contents can be squeezed out by means of light pressure and you can just as accurately remove the desired amount.
Does balsamic cream contain sugar? What are the ingredients of balsamic creams?
Genuine Italian balsamic vinegar is subject to strict regulations regarding production, maturation and bottling. Only if these are followed, an Aceto Balsamic from Modena or Reggio Emilia receives the coveted PGI seal or PDO-Seal as Balsamico Tradizionale. There are also clear rules with regard to the ingredients: For example, only caramel can be used as the colorant.
All this does not apply to balsamic creams.
These condiments are not included in the IGP and DOP regulations and therefore are not under their protection. This is not the case even if the preparation, removal and filling of the creams are carried out in accordance with IGP or DOP specifications. Balsamic creams may contain all kinds of additives such as sugars, thickeners and preservatives and colorants, provided that they are authorized by the Foodstuffs Regulation. Therefore, balsamic creams differ significantly in quality.
The creams offered in the online store OliveOilsItaly contain neither sugar nor preservatives or colorings. Instead, only natural ingredients are used: In addition to the balsamic vinegar as a basic substance, these are usually natural, thickened grape must and modified corn starch. Our flavored balsamic creams also contain natural flavorings such as the Gourmet Cacao Balsamic Cream from I Solai added high quality cocoa mass and natural cocoa extract to achieve the special cocoa flavor that is Gourmet Truffle Balsamic Cream from the same series contains natural truffle flavor.
How long is balsamic cream usually stable?
Due to their composition - especially because of the high content of concentrated grape must - balsamic creams are less durable than balsamic vinegar. While the latter, stored properly, can be kept for almost indefinitely, an opened bottle of balsamic cream should be kept in the refrigerator and consumed within a few weeks. This is all the more true for high-quality balsamic creams, such as those found here on olive oil from Italy: these products contain neither added sugar nor other additives such as antioxidants or other preservatives.
Which dishes are best for balsamic cream?
Similar to Aceto Balsamico, balsamic cream also goes well with a variety of different dishes: both lend red meat, numerous vegetables - especially asparagus, tomatoes, beetroot, fennel and celery - as well like soups and salads a special sweet and sour note.
But even with desserts - from fruit salads to ice creams to sorbets - a few drops or splash of balsamic vinegar or cream provide the ultimate "aroma kick".
Basically, balsamic cream can be used in the kitchen almost as well as balsamic vinegar, especially for seasoning sauces, dressings. In individual cases, attention should always be paid to the lower acidity and the greater sweetening effect of creams, especially with less high-quality added sugars. Of course, you will not find the latter here on OliveOilsItaly.com but in discount stores.
The eye eats as you know: and in this context, which of course means garnishing dishes, balsamic creams can play out their very special preference, namely their much greater consistency compared to balsamic vinegar.
Simply put, a strip of balsamic cream. Spread a few of them on a Carpaccio
Is balsamic cream also suitable as a dressing?
The answer is basically "yes". Balsamic cream as the sole ingredient, so "pure" to use for the salad dressing, but would taste little satisfactory - especially if it should be a spicy dressing - and also quite expensive.
In contrast, balsamic cream is ideal as a complementary ingredient: with a small amount of it, a classic, mild salad dressing made from balsamic vinegar, olive oil and salt and pepper naturally gets a creamy consistency - without adding any other flavors, as is the case with yoghurt, sour cream or soy-based substitutes would be the case.
Balsamic creams are thus particularly suitable for the vegan and lactose-free diets.