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Oct 11, 2004 05:57 PM

kosher balsamic vinegar

  • d

the last one I bought (Forgot the name! I'll check the package when I'm at home) was really dreadful--Syrupy, too sweet, etc

Suggestions for the best (and where in Manhattan it is carried) welcome.

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  1. I use Bartenura-it is from Italy(from Modena) it is certified OU, it is the real stuff, I live in Queens and I buy it at any kosher food market, 1 pint usually costs $7.00

    16 Replies
    1. re: Larry

      Bartenura is weak compared with Mezzetti, which is available at Fairway and is actually cheaper than Bartenura. It's in a long, slender bottle with a tan/gold label.

      1. re: Deiscane

        Bartenura has two balsamics -- the regular and the special reserve which is is thicker and more intense. The regular is good in a vinagrette, but the special reserve is ideal for finishing a dish.

        I don't know about Mezzetti, but Fairway has one kosher "balsamic" that, if you read the ingredients,isn't really balsamic -- it contains all sorts of flavorings and additives.

        1. re: AndeB

          Well, Mezzetti is all balsamic, based on the label. I found it when the kosher buyer for Fairway pointed it out to me. We had a chat and he recommended it well above the special reserve, even though it's markedly cheaper. That said something to me, and after eating it, I could see why.

          1. re: DeisCane

            Thanks, I'll look at Fairway.
            I think the one I have IS Bartenura--maybe it was just a bad bottle?

            1. re: debbie

              The Select Bartenura is fine, but it's not as good as Mazzetti, imo.

            2. re: DeisCane

              I was at Fairway earlier today. Mazzetti is NOT kosher. The Minardi is the one that has all sorts of additives. The kosher one you're thinking of also starts with an M, but I can't remember the name. They have it in two places -- in the alcove with all the other vinegars and on the aisle with the sign stating that it's better than all the "swill" (their words)

              1. re: AndeB

                Just noticed this post.Which Fairway?

                Thanks for all the suggestions, guys.

                1. re: AndeB

                  Just noticed this post.Which Fairway?

                  Thanks for all the suggestions, guys.

                  1. re: AndeB

                    I am looking at the bottle right now. It is Mazzetti. The label on the back is entirely in Hebrew, and it clearly states Kosher L'Pesach in Hebrew.

                2. re: AndeB

                  Looking to buy special reserve Bartenura balsamic vinegar. Can you help??I cant find where to get it.

                  1. re: AndeB

                    Looking to buy special reserve Bartenura balsamic vinegar. Can you help??

                    1. re: AndeB

                      Mazzetti is kosher and is located in the kosher section next to bartenura.It is real balsamic vinegar and is far superior in quality to either bartenura.
                      Mazzetti also makes a non-kosher balsamic which is located in the regular vinegar section in both manhattan locations.
                      We also have 2 other kosher balsamic vinegars in aisle 1 but the kosher certification is not great.
                      they are maniccardi and mangazolli.
                      anyone looking for a good balsamic vinegar should try the Mazzetti.
                      I am the kosher buyer for Fairway and consider Mazzetti one of my best items.

                    2. re: Deiscane

                      I assumed you meant the uptown Fairway,but checking anyway. Is it in the regular kosher section (near the coffee grinding?)

                      1. re: Debbie

                        I've purchased at both 74th and 125th Fairways. The bottle is much taller (500 ml) than Bartenura Select, and the brand name is MAZZETTI. I am looking at it as I type. The label is tan with brown lettering. It's available in the kosher sections in both stores.

                        1. re: DeisCane

                          Bought the Mazzetti (from Fairway's kosher section) Hope it's good!
                          BTW, I found 2 other names of Balsamic in the regular vinegar section that also had hechshers. Similar names to Mazzetti and Minardi,(also Italian-sounding, with M as the beginning) but as someone noted, one has "ingredients" listing wine vinegar, grape must,coloring etc., I assume this is a faux balsamic.
                          Curiously enough, the other one had, in English, "ingredients" listed as just "balsamic vinegar", but in the Hebrew on the front of the label, the ingredients were "wine vinegar and grape juice"

                          1. re: Debbie

                            Congrats, t'it chadhsi.

                  2. m
                    Moshe Horowitz

                    Kedem has one made for them in Italy. Fleishman's has a "kosher" domestic and also imported "kosher" flavored & unflavored balsalmic vinegar.

                    2 Replies
                    1. re: Moshe Horowitz

                      I saw Mengazzoli Balsamic vinegar in Fairway. It has a kosher symbol on it that is hard to read. Who supervises it?

                      1. re: havdalahclub

                        glatt express in teaneck had a white balsamic vinegar from Chile-Traverso. Mountain Fruit in bklyn had a balsamic vinegar from modena imported from WF Kosher Foods

                    2. Has anyone tried a brand called "Traverso"? I bought it in Brach's (5 towns) for Passover. It was ridiculously cheap- $2.79 for .5 liter but it has a bunch of ingredients- Wine vinegar, apple must, inverted sugar

                      8 Replies
                      1. re: websterhall1994

                        It is simply a question of whether we like the taste or not. Most if not all Balsamic Vinegar that we get at supermarkets, kosher or not, are red wine vinegar sweetened and other ingredients. True Balsamic Vinegar from Modena is sold in small bottles and priced like liquid gold... it is used sparingly over strawberries, ice cream, etc... it is not worth using it as an ingredient for cooking and/or salad dressings... Now, if anyone knows if there is true Balsamic Vinegar from Modena "Aceto Balsamico Tradizionale di Modena" kosher... that would be wow!!!

                          1. re: koshergourmetmart

                            Here is some kosher balsamic vinegar info courtesy of the Star-K website:

                            The long balsamic vinegar process requires great care to produce. The grapes have to be carefully crushed and are aged in special chestnut or mulberry barrels, where fermentation and oxidation occur simultaneously. As the vinegar ages and evaporates, the vinegar is transferred to smaller cherry and mulberry barrels for further conversion. After 12 years, the balsamic vinegar is thick, full-bodied and almost condiment-like in consistency. Authentic balsamic requires at least 12 years of aging; however, some of the mother balsamics used in this process are much older. In Modena, Italy, mother balsamic vinegars can be traced back 400 years. Due to the complex task of tracing balsamic vinegar through the matrix of time, authentic kosher balsamic would be nearly impossible to trace.

                          2. re: mrotmd

                            I'm not sure what "mrotmd" considers "priced like gold." The balsamic vinegar I buy is the larger sized Bartenura bottle (17 oz), not the smaller, more expensive, bottle (which I tried once, but didn't think it was all that great), and the ingredient list is solely "Balsamic Vinegar of Modena," and costs about $7.00. Not as cheap as the cheap stuff made from red wine vinegar, but certainly not as expensive as all that. When you see what goes into making it, as delineated in the post by moonlightgraham, it doesn't sound so bad at all. And as far as I'm concerned, the taste can't be beat, particularly in a bean salad I make.

                            1. re: queenscook

                              The WF Kosher balsamic vinegar is the one I have. It was $2.69
                              for a 16.9 oz/500 ml. bottle (I believe this was D'Agostino's). The label says Antica Modena as well as Willi Foods and Balsamic Vinegar of Modena. The back label says Kosher for Passover.

                              The other balsamic carried by Fairway is Manicardi.

                              1. re: Dovid

                                The true Balsamic vinagar has to say :"Aceto Balsamico Tradizionale di Modena, D.O.P". Depending on the aging they range from the low $100.00 to close to $1000.00. Yes I mean one-thousand dollars (no mistake on the zeros). Certainly labels and manufacturers can print whatever they want and some of them will make some reference to Modena. The Consortio in Modena regulates the real one. Just like Not every bubbly wine is Champagne or every Brandy is Cognac, not every balsamic vinegar is the real thing. These vinegars are used sparingly sprinkled on desserts, fruits, etc... and certainly not part of a salad dressing.
                                With an ounce of gold selling today at about $866.00, I stand corrected, It is not as expensive as gold, but... the stuff we buy in regular supermarket is basically red wine vinegar sweetened with caramel and/or sugar. Do I sound snotty? Maybe. Have I tried the real thing... Only before I became kosher... The real one's nomenclature is protected by the European Union Protected Designation of Origin, that also protects Champagne and Cognac.

                              2. re: queenscook

                                Noooo.... you are not even close. True Balsamic Vinegar sells for over $200.00 a bottle.
                                This link takes you to a vendor and the $219.00 is not even the most expensive they have.
                                Of course, as moonlightgraham pointed out, these are not kosher!
                                If you cannot follow the link, google: "true Balsamic Vinegar".
                                Good luck!

                                1. re: mrotmd

                                  Thought I'd point you to this recipe from the Times from back in 1999. It's a recipe for how to take cheap balsamic vinegar (like the bartenura) and make it more like the DOP stuff. It's a hack, but it works:
                                  Thanks to Bill Maddex (ob"m) for pointing out the article to me back when.