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What do you do with really good, aged balsamic vinegar?

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So I got carried away at Volpetti in Rome and bought a 30 Euro bottle of 15 year old balsamic vinegar. The kicker is, I'm not even a particularly huge balsamic fan (in a salad, I almost always prefer a nice red wine vinegar.)

So what do I do with it now? Any and all suggestions welcome!

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  1. That kind of balsamic vinegar is not really meant for salads. Try a few drops on some cut up strawberries, or on some pieces of parmesan cheese. It's used drop by drop, rather than a splash in a salad dressing.

    1 Reply
    1. re: roxlet

      Yes, shards of really good crystally parmesan dipped in aged balsamic is just heaven!

    2. Here are a couple of older threads on this topic with a few ideas.

      1 Reply
      1. re: chefj

        Thank you. The other threads are the motherlode for ideas on what to do with good balsamic.

      2. drizzle over homemade vanilla ice cream or as rox said over some good parm.

        1. Aged balsamic, I put that sh*t on everything!

          1. Drizzle on asparagus and Parmesan or just Parmesan (the real stuff obviously) or on any sort or creamy mushroom risotto or creamy pasta dish. Drizzle over berries and vanilla ice cream.

            1. Pour some into a shot glass. Sip slowly in between bites of roasted, salted nuts.

              3 Replies
                1. re: ipsedixit

                  The aged stuff may be a tad thick to sip but, sounds like good idea ipse!

                  1. re: treb

                    If too thick, use as a dipping sauce, or heck a spoon never hurts.

                2. Buy some ripe heirloom tomatoes, fresh basil and good motzerella, dribble ontop of an awesome caprese.
                  Also awesome with fresh cantalope.

                  1 Reply
                  1. re: Ttrockwood

                    Indeed, caprese salad! This was going to be my suggestion. Pure simple and delicious. Perhaps drizzle some EVOO on top as well.

                  2. I usually have that bottle in my kitchen, though it's still not as good as the €79 tradizionale di Modena. Nevertheless, it is a revelation on strawberries (with powdered sugar, which forms a nice sauce with the juices). A couple of drops on large chips of parmigiano-reggiano is standard (no dipping, just parsimonious dripping). It is also good used sparingly to finish cooked vegetables (I make these ratatouille-like concoctions in summer) or steak or stews. It is not normally used on salads, though we do use it on the rare occasions that we have delicate greens we think won't stand up to red wine vinegar, and is not used on caprese (that some people do so is irrelevant; normal is normal, others are free to do what they want).

                    1. A small drizzle over some bite size chunks aged parm, a glass of Brunello and a crust of bread.

                      1 Reply
                      1. re: treb

                        I'd change the Brunello to Amarone, but I'm with you all the way! Maybe candlelight, also??

                      2. A few drops floated on top of some cocktails is also very nice. We made a rhubarb cocktail once and added a few drops of a good aged balsamic on top. Delicious!

                        1. Soups do really well with a few drops at the end, it is lovely presentation too. Such as a celeriac soup, mushroom soup, squash, or potato leek.