Soon we will be dining at Massimo Bottura’s famed restaurant in Modena, Italy, Osteria Francescana. Massimo has been recreating Italian cooking with a dazzling display of virtuosity and artistry that emanates from one of the most important gastronomic centers of Italian cooking: Emilia-Romagna. Emilia Romagna is a major center for Parmigiano-Reggiano and balsamic vinegar and many traditional pasta dishes that incorporate game. Both Rick and I certainly looking forward to a memorable meal and for an opportunity to explore the markets and bistros of Bologna and Modena.
Deena Kastor’s Balsamic Vinegar Recipes
Found below is an excerpt of an article that leads into Deena Kastor’s balsamic vinegar recipes. Personally, I have always felt that it is difficult to match the few drops of balsamico that are sprinkled over burrata, heirloom tomatoes and arugula. Here is a great image of this simple – yet delicious salad – featuring Gourmet Living DOP or traditional balsamic vinegar.
True balsamic vinegar, made from pressed Italian grapes, gets its dark color and sweet flavor from aging in barrels. The best are labeled “of Modena” or “of Reggio Emilia,” designating production in one of those regions in Italy. (Some U.S. balsamic vinegars are actually a blend of wine vinegar, grape juice, and coloring.) The good stuff is a staple in Deena Kastor’s kitchen. “I incorporate it into every meal,” says Kastor, who last fall set the masters world record in the women’s half-marathon. Research shows that balsamic vinegar may help stabilize blood sugar, reduce blood pressure, and lower the risk of hardening of the arteries. via: Deena Kastor’s Balsamic Vinegar Recipes
What Makes Balsamic Vinegar Good For You?
I am hesitant to hype the nutritional benefits of balsamic vinegar, but many leading chefs and physicians argue that there is more “good” than bad in regular servings of this Italian wine vinegar. How delightful to find something that you can eat that actually tastes great and also promotes a healthy living style. In any event, found below are a couple of articles that highlight the alleged benefits of balsamic vinegar. Pretty impressive for something that has been nourishing the world for some 600 years.
Balsamic vinegar is definitely good for you. All it takes is a small serving to gain all the health benefits that it provides. Here is a look at why this vinegar is beneficial for your health:
1. High Polyphenolic Content:
According to research, this vinegar contains certain compounds that may have curative properties. For instance, studies have found that it is rich in antioxidant plant compounds known as polyphenols. These compounds, when ingested, have been found to help in abating atherosclerosis-associated oxidative damage to blood lipids.
2. Rich In Melanoidins:
Balsamic vinegar also contains melanoidins. These substances give the vinegar its rich dark color and viscosity. According to research, melanoidins may have antioxidant properties and help in the prevention of oxidative damage that is connected to meat digestion. Therefore, the next time you eat a dish with meat, say a turkey sandwich, you should consider getting a salad that has a dressing made with balsamic vinegar.
3. High Acetic Acid Content:
Balsamic vinegar contains a high amount of acetic acid. According to research, this acid, which is also present in other types of vinegar, may have some excellent health benefits. In a study that was published in 2006, it was found that acetic acid played a role in lowering triacylglycerols and serum cholesterol in rats that were fed a diet rich in cholesterol. This indicated that the consumption of vinegar might have positive effects on the cholesterol levels in humans. In another study conducted on diabetes, it was concluded that acetic acid administration through the ingestion of vinegar improved insulin sensitivity in people suffering from diabetes.
As you can see, balsamic vinegar, and others, have excellent health benefits. It should definitely be made a part of your daily diet. Add it to your favorite salads, desserts, cocktails, etc. You can also use it to glaze meat before you put it on the grill. There is so much that you can do with this delicious and healthy vinegar!
Health Benefits Of Balsamic Vinegar:
Here are the wonderful health benefits that you can gain by including balsamic vinegar in your diet:
1. Fights Cancer:
Quercetin is found in the grapes that are used in making balsamic vinegar. Quercetin is a bioflavonoid that has antioxidant properties. It contains Vitamin C as well, and its antioxidant action helps in strengthening your immune system. This means that your body will be able to fight inflammation, infections and even life-threatening diseases like cancer.
2. Lowers Risk Of Heart Attacks:
Balsamic vinegar has low levels of cholesterol and saturated fat. This means that it does not cause harm to your heart. By using dressings that have this vinegar, instead of those with high cholesterol levels, you make sure that your heart stays healthy as unwanted fats will not get deposited in your blood vessels. The sodium content in balsamic vinegar is also very low, which means that blood pressure is lowered, and the risk of heart attacks is reduced.
3. Promotes Digestion:
The polyphenols in balsamic vinegar stimulate the activity of pepsin enzymes in your body. These digestive enzymes help proteins break down into amino acids. They also help your intestines absorb amino acids. When these acids are efficiently absorbed, it becomes easier for your body to build, repair and utilize cells.
4. Boosts Bone Health:
The pepsin and acetic acid in balsamic vinegar help in improving the body’s ability to absorb essential minerals such as calcium and magnesium. These minerals play an important role in the development of strong and healthy bones. Balsamic vinegar is rich in both these minerals.
5. Relieves Pain:
Balsamic vinegar has been used as a medicine to provide relief from different types of pain since ancient times. It is still commonly used as an effective remedy for migraines and headaches. Since it has antibacterial and antiviral properties, it can also be used to treat wounds and infections.
6. Destroys Free Radicals:
As mentioned earlier, balsamic vinegar has high antioxidant properties. Antioxidants are vital for the destruction of free radicals in your body. Energy is produced when oxidation occurs in your body, and this energy helps in hampering free radical formation.
Cell membranes in the body are destroyed by free radicals. They also make the arterial walls hard and cause premature aging. The antioxidants present in balsamic vinegar destroy the free radicals and protect the cells in your body. They also slow down the process of aging, making you youthful both within and without.
There can be no doubt that balsamic vinegar is good for you. By adding a few tablespoons of it to the food you eat, you can protect yourself from diabetes, heart problems, migraines, infections, and even cancer! How can that not be good for you? If you have not already made this vinegar a staple in your home, you should definitely start right away. Its health benefits are too good to ignore. The fact that it tastes incredibly delicious is a bonus that makes balsamic vinegar even better.
As already mentioned, for centuries balsamic vinegar has been used as a condiment, digestive aide, and tonic. It is currently still used as a fold remedy for a wide range of ailments. While many claims still require research, its richness in antioxidants, polyphenols, acetic acid and melanoidins, and the various health benefits they provide, make balsamic vinegar an important element to have in the kitchen. via: Is Balsamic Vinegar Good For You?
More great recipes featuring balsamic vinegar to follow when we get back from Modena.
See what people are saying about Gourmet Living’s premium barrel-aged balsamic vinegar.