What Makes a Balsamic Brilliant + Fustini Tips and Recipes to Try

What makes a good balsamic vinegar

Modena’s traditional balsamic vinegar is aged in small wooden barrels for more than a dozen years to achieve that balanced degree of acidity and richness derived from the grape. Fustini’s takes tremendous care in creating its balsamic vinegars, resulting in best-sellers like the traditional 18-year-old balsamic that many Fustini devotees say they would eat on their own.

It all starts with a very high quality grape grown on Lambrusco, Sangiovese or Trebbiano vines. As the grape is cooked, it thickens and red or white vinegar is added along with purees or natural flavorings. Fustini’s has made a name for its custom products that include a cheery White Sicilian Lemon Balsamic and a line of Michigan Exclusives that draw on locally grown and sourced fruit and honey. Working with local growers and listening to what customers want has led to Traverse City Cherry Balsamic, West Michigan Blueberry Balsamic, Michigan Apple Balsamic, and an Iron Fish Distillery White Wine Vinegar made with honey from the distiller’s beehives.

Fustini’s premium balsamic vinegars and olive oils are imported from selected artisans and small producers in Modena, Italy. This coveted hamlet is home to the Holy Trinity of Italian foods – Parmigiano Reggiano cheese, prosciutto ham and balsamico di Modena – and home to families carrying on the centuries-old tradition of balsamic vinegar production in their attics.

Nothing artificial or synthetic is added to Fustini’s balsamic vinegar and extra virgin olive oil, and it’s all allergen-free and vegan. Since vinegars are naturally low in calories and oils are high in antioxidants, they can help lay the foundation for a healthy Mediterranean-inspired diet. But perhaps even more important is the condiment’s incredible versatility and how it can complement such a wide range of regionally inspired dishes.

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