Buying most anything at a grocery store – particularly olive oil and balsamic vinegar – has become increasingly complicated. I am constantly amazed at the number of choices available. While I know that roughly 75% of labels are misleading – if not fraudulent – I generally don’t have the time to read the fine print.
Most people don’t have the interest, money or time to create their own olive oil or balsamic brand, but I was saddened to see how American consumers are “fed” a series of substandard products by unscrupulous producers and resellers.
Finding the “right” balsamic shouldn’t be a chore, but sadly our food processors and aggregators have gone out of their way to confuse things for consumer. Most of the balsamic products sold at grocery stores are more like vinaigrettes than balsamic vinegar. Authentic balsamic vinegar is syrupy rather than a watery vinegar.
Recently, My Italian Inspiration, sent me a lovely Infographic which provides much useful information on what to look for in purchasing authentic balsamic related products. While it doesn’t address every potential issue that may arise, the Infographic does provide a useful overview to guide to help you sort through the options in purchasing “real” balsamic.
Needless to say I would be remiss in not plugging Gourmet Living’s vinegars. Our best-selling Goccia d’Oro is a premium brand IGP certified balsamic vinegar. In addition, Gourmet Living has two DOP traditional or DOP vinegars aged 12 and 25 years, as well as a condimento bianco. Visit the Gourmet Living store for more details.
I realize that studying labels in a grocery store can be a time-consuming and often fruitless exercise considering the fine print, but a little research can help you make better buying decisions.