Trader Joe's balsamic vinegar
Sent dear husband to TJ's for a few items and he wasn't paying attention & so came home with two bottles of vinegar. Any comments on either the Trader Giotto's 17 oz bottle of Aceto Balsamico di Modena PGI or the 33.8 oz bottle of Trader Joe's? They appear to be almost the same. Both cheap.
Just a comment and query on Trader Joe's Aceto Balsamico di Modena. I bought a bottle several months ago and loved it. It was the small square bottle with a cork stopper. The vinegar's consistency was slightly syrupy and the flavor was good with some sweetness. My family couldn't get enough of it. A few weeks ago, I bought another bottle and I feel that the product has totally changed. My first clue was that the cork stopper has been replaced by a plastic lid and there is now a plastic pour spout so that the vinegar won't come glugging out too quickly. This, presumably, is because the vinegar is no longer slightly syrupy, but thin like any other vinegar. Has anyone else noticed this? I don't like this product!
Another option is to reduce the cheap stuff to a syrup consistency, let it cool, and rebottle it into a plastic squeeze bottle. Makes a perfectly decent drizzle. You can flavor it with garlic and herbs and remove them before storing, if you like. Sweetens and intensifies the flavors.
I only have been happy with the 8.5 oz Gold Quality Basalmic de Modena they sell. It's on par with Fini and several of the mid to upper end basalmic's out there and reasonably priced.
The large bottle varieties tend to be less sweet and less flavorful (usually due to less aging or lower quality grapes) and I still think I have the remains of a bottle or two in the cabinet. If me, I;d return the 33oz bottle if TJ's is near you and try the other.
Using up inadequate basalmic can be a chore as you cannot use it straight so you either have to cut it with a higher quality basalmic or use up in things like salad dressings, sauces and glazes, but always adding sugar to make up for the lack of natural aging. I use mine up in a basalmic/ketchup/brown sugar meatloaf glaze, but you have to make a lotta freakin' meatloafs to get that bottle gone. LOLOLOLOL.