Italian Food and Wine – Balsamico My Way

Aceto Balsamico – Aceto Balsamico Tradizionale a very special condiment

I am very meticulous how I use this very special condiment – Aceto Balsamico Tradizionale. For practical reasons, I do not cook with Aceto Balsamico Tradizionale; when you cook food and add a condiment, its’ taste changes, and I would never change the traditional taste, plus it is very expensive. I cook with Aceto Balsamico Condimento, which I find creates more of a fusion of flavors when cooking, it’s the heat.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAIdeally, Aceto Balsamico Tradizionale is a drizzling, or a drop by drop condiment, over antipasto, desserts, and cooked food after it comes off the fire. The pork chop in the photo we drizzled with Aceto Balsamico Tradizionale. This chop and a broiled veal chop intermix amazingly with Aceto Balsamico Tradizionale. Where as the famous Bistecca Fiorentina – Florentene steak or lamb chops are gauche with Aceto Balsamico Tradizionale. Yes, I would never use Balsamico with a Florentine steak, however with filetto – Filet Mignon, that is a different story.

There are antipasti that I like with a drizzling of Aceto Balsamico Tradizionale. For example; marrying Prosciutto Di Parma with Mozzarella Caprese di OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERANapoli, as seen in our photo, or simply taking Parmigiano-Reggiano and drizzling Aceto Balsamico Tradizionale over the king of cheeses, or adding strawberries to the cheese and drizzling Aceto Balsamico Tradizionale over the cheese and strawberries.

Risotto with radicchio, leek and mushroom risotto, risotto di Parma, and risi e bisi marry well with balsamico drizzled over it after cooking. Risottos with a dominating flavor or distinguished flavor such as risotto Milanese should be left alone. We can say the same for pasta dishes. Now, take a Veal Piccata Balsamico; for this dish we eliminate the lemon and replace it with Condimento Balsamico – the cooking balsamic vinegar. Thinking meticulously, we may do this with other meat or seafood entrees, but not all of them.

Desserts require some thought with balsamico. Some Gelati do very well with Balsamico, such as vanilla, cherry vanilla, and Amaretti Semifreddo is in its own stratosphere with Aceto Balsamico Tradizionale. On the other hand, chocolate, black walnut, mint, tutti-frutti and other flavors don’t do well with balsamico. Plain cakes such as Torta di Polenta do very well with Balsamaco drizzled or mixed in it. However, cakes with fancy fillings and toppings are best left alone. You know, what would Italian Rum Cake be with Aceto Balsamico Tradizionale?

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