One of the most flavorful and expensive vinegar that is much in demand by gourmet chefs and novice home cooks is balsamic vinegar. It is used in making salad dressings, vinaigrettes and marinades and also in many desserts. Of the different types of vinegar like white wine vinegar, red wine vinegar, rice wine vinegar and apple cider vinegar, balsamic vinegar is the most prized. It is used extensively in cooking gourmet food. Balsamic vinegar has a complex flavor and a sweet, sharp and smooth taste. No other vinegar comes even close to the flavor profile of balsamic vinegar. This vinegar has become quite a rage in fine dining restaurants thanks to its use by gourmet chefs all over the world. Balsamic vinegar is always aged before it is sold for use in cooking and like any other food product it contains a certain number of calories.
Calories in Balsamic Vinegar
As balsamic vinegar is used in the preparation of many dishes, it is good to know how many calories it contains. There are many health benefits of balsamic vinegar too. Balsamic vinegar calories is given in the table below.
|1 cup (255 g)||224|
Balsamic vinegar has no cholesterol and no fats. Most of the calories in balsamic vinegar comes from the sugars present in the grapes. Calories in balsamic vinegar dressing is around 90 calories for 2 tablespoons. Homemade balsamic vinaigrette dressing is very healthy and more nutritious than other fatty salad dressings that usually use mayonnaise. You can make your own balsamic vinegar dressing at home rather than purchasing it from the supermarket. This will ensure that you make fresh vinegar dressing at home which will be considerably less in calories.
Balsamic vinegar, like other types of vinegar has an almost indefinite shelf life. Since vinegar contains acid which itself acts like a preservative, there is no question of it spoiling in your pantry. Balsamic vinegar can be used for preparing a number of dishes and you can use a balsamic vinegar reduction as a sauce to pour over grilled chicken breast, steak or fish. Just a few drops of balsamic vinegar added to marinades can enhance the flavor of any meat or vegetable. Well aged balsamic vinegar that is made in the old-fashioned way is quite expensive and no other vinegar can quite replicate the taste of it.
How is Balsamic Vinegar Made
Now that you know the number of calories in balsamic vinegar, let us know more about how balsamic vinegar is made. Balsamic vinegar was traditionally made exclusively from Trebbiano grapes which grow in Modena, Italy. It is made by first crushing the grapes and then reducing it over a flame into a syrup like consistency. This thickened syrup is then slowly aged by placing it inside wooden barrels. As the vinegar evaporates, it is transferred into smaller barrels made of different wood like mulberry, oak, chestnut and juniper. Balsamic vinegar has to be aged for at least 10 years to be called aged balsamic vinegar. Of course the more number of years it is aged and matured in different wooden barrels, the better and more complex its taste becomes. The vinegar is infused with the characteristic flavor of the different wooden barrels that it is aged in, which makes its taste more flavorsome. For people who are used to the sharp and overly acidic taste of ordinary vinegar, the taste and aroma of balsamic vinegar might come as a surprise. It is a complex flavor that has the right balance of sweet and sour with a hint of woodiness that can give any dish character.
While buying balsamic vinegar make sure that it is a genuine product and there are no artificial color or flavors added to it. Although a bottle of traditional balsamic vinegar made with Trebbiano grapes is quite expensive, you should remember that a little goes a long way. A good balsamic vinaigrette salad dressing can make any salad taste flavorful and tasty. So stock that bottle of balsamic vinegar in your kitchen pantry and use them to flavor some of your favorite recipes.