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Traditional Balsamic Vinegar in Vancouver / Lower Mainland?

  • h

I have been looking for the good stuff all over but, haven't had any luck so far. Even Bosa foods didn't have any. Does anyone know of a place which sells this?

Thanks in advance..

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  1. Have you tried La Grotta on Commercial? They have some fairly pricey balsamic vinegar there.

    3 Replies
    1. re: fmed

      Is this the place next to The Fratelli's Bakery?

        1. re: fmed

          Hmm...will check it out and report back. Thanks for the tip.

    2. Meinhardt's? Gourmet Warehouse?

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      Gourmet Warehouse
      1340 E Hastings St, Vancouver, BC V5L, CA

      2 Replies
      1. re: islandgirl

        I don't know where Meinhardt is located, but, Gourmet Warehouse doesn't have it.

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        Gourmet Warehouse
        1340 E Hastings St, Vancouver, BC V5L, CA

        1. re: hanoz

          Meinhardt's has two locations on the westside of Vancouver. One (the original) is at West 14th & Granville. The second one which opened about 2 years ago is located at Arbutus and West 16th (next to the Ridge Theatre). I've definately seen the "real deal" at the original location and in fact they often do education sessions on weekends where you can sample various oils and vinegars. These sessions last about 20 mins and end with a small (very small) sample of the good stuff.

      2. Honestly, Costco's balsamic is the real deal. I have a friend that was in Modena at a very high end producer of balsamic and he found out that the Kirkland balsamic is the same vinegar as a $40 bottle(or just a few ounces) he sells in his store. Not a lesser quality vinegar from the same producer but the exact same product. In fact, he recommends that customers buy the expensive one for the beautiful bottle and then buy the Costco balsamic to refill it. You have to make sure that you are buying the Kirkland vinegar with the 4 gold leafs on it. I can tell you as a chef that many good restaurants use this vinegar.

        9 Replies
        1. re: tdeane

          Interesting, thanks for the tip. I'll check it out.

          1. re: hanoz

            Hmmm....I kinda doubt that the Costco stuff is the "real-good-stuff" "tradizionale". It's not thick and syrupy from 12-25 years of aging. It's not bad, but it's by no means comparable to a real tradizionale balsamic.

            1. re: jcolvin

              Have you actually tried it or are you just being a snob? I'm not saying it's 25 year old balsamic or anything but it is real, 4 gold leaf balsamic from a top producer in Modena.

              1. re: tdeane

                Yep, I have a bottle on my shelf. Like most Kirkland products It's not at all bad, but it's not a "traditional" balsamic as the original poster was asking for. It's been made by reduction (boiling) and blending with other vinegars (along with a bit of aging). A traditional balsamic is made by a minimum of 12 years of aging and becomes very syrupy through evaporative loss in the casks; which is why it's frakin expensive. The costco is a "condimento" grade; it's a great balsamic but it's not as thick as the traditional stuff.

                1. re: jcolvin

                  I am not sure you are right about that.

                  1. re: tdeane

                    According to the "Costco connection" http://www.costcoconnection.com/conne... it is made by a Consortio member but "blended with red wine vinegar" and some "older balsamicos (some up to 18years old)". So it is definitely not tradizionale (the real-expensive traditional stuff) but as I said, it's still good balsamic (condiment grade?). I sincerely doubt that many restaurants over here serve tradizionale...it's just too expensive to use for anything except tiny amounts for dipping a good reggiano in. All about tradizionale here: http://www.oliveuniversity.org/balsam...

                    1. re: jcolvin

                      The link you provided is from 2006 so it has no relevance. Are you familiar with the gold leaf rankings of balsamic? The Kirkland one available in BC is a 4 leaf balsamic. I say available in BC because the producer in Modena specifically mentioned shipping to Langley. 4 leaf is the highest ranking a commercial balsamic can get.

                      1. re: tdeane

                        I know you say you don't want to argue about it, but the leaf rating system for balsamics is for industriale vinegar, not even condimento. 4 leaf is the top for industriale (and considered to be very tasty), but is most definitely not tradizionale.

                        Perhaps Les Amis has some tradizionale vinegars?

                        1. re: peter.v

                          Les Amis has a nice vinegar selection. I haven't looked closely enough to see if they have tradizionale. A quick phone call will settle that: 604-253-4218

        2. I don't really want to argue about it, I'm just saying that the Kirkland balsamic available in BC is an excellent balsamic. Better than "just OK".

          1. How about asking behind the counter at Cioffi? They have a lot of interesting things in there, but for the really expensive stuff, you have to ask!

            1. Meinhardt has it (at least the granville location). It's not displayed with the regular stuff. It is placed in the cabinets on the north wall of the store.

              Tried to get the pricing but the guys had a tough time figuring that out. I was running late for work so I couldn't wait. Will definitely go back there to get a bottle.

              Thanks to all for your replies.

              9 Replies
              1. re: hanoz

                Why not check out Venturi Shulze Balsamic from Vancouver Island. It may not have the tradizionale declaration, but its made in the traditional way with the proper wood barrels. And it's local! http://www.venturischulze.com/

                1. re: jtothe

                  Hahaha...I have planned a trip to this place during the Canada Day Long week end.

                  1. re: jtothe

                    oh yes, this is delicious. Our gourmet cooking friends gave us a bottle of it ... I knew about the interesting vineyard/winery so looked up the vinegar on their website. Needless to say, this is the price of expensive wine (well, for me it is) and nobody gets to touch this bottle except for ME. Go and get some. Maybe check the site as you may have to reserve it. Not sure on that.

                    1. re: naramata

                      If you do make it out to Venturi Schulze - get a bottle of their Brandenburg No 3 sweet amber wine. Great as a dessert wine. (Had it for the first time at the now defunct Aurora Bistro.)

                    2. re: jtothe

                      I'm going to grab some of that next time on the Island. Here's a possible source, now our $ is high it may make sense to ship. I don't *think* there is a customs issue with vinegar. http://www.rarewineco.com/downloads/b...

                      1. re: jcolvin

                        Venturi Schulze vinegars are available at Taste of BC on Granville Island. I also think they are available at Les amis du fromage. I bought one from granville island and it's so much better than the cheap shit.

                            1. re: vandan

                              Yes, Edible BC carries Venturi-Schulze blasamic. It will be marked up a bit. Or you can order it on their website and have it shipped. It's $9 shipping for the first bottle and $1 for any bottle after that within BC.

                    3. Tosi's on Main Street carries a small range.

                      1. The other day while shopping at Bosa (Kootenay St), I saw some pricey balsamic vinegars behind the deli counter...$30/bottle to $140/bottle-$169/bottle range.

                         
                         
                         
                         
                        1 Reply
                        1. re: fmed

                          Funny, reading through this, and seeing the original post on how Bosa Foods didn't seem to have it, I thought about the original Bosa, and that I had seen some pretty impressive-looking balsamics there just yesterday. You, sir, have delivered.

                        2. Whole Foods on Cambie had a bottle of Tradizionale (consorzio produced...) in a locked box in their vinegar section along with a few other bottles. The price tag was $239.

                          1 Reply
                          1. re: peter.v

                            Talk about whole paycheck! I've just finished a bottle of Los Olivos Oil company balsamic, which was a nice syrupy 12 year condiment that I bought on 1/2 price sale at Urban fare. I recall it was only about $30 for 500 ml which was a tremendous deal for a nice 12 year. Now its time to restock, but I haven't seen the Los Oilvos stuff around recently, but its pretty good.