The world of Vinegars is certainly a vast one. Having been around for 10,000 years and originating from the French “vin aigre”, meaning sour wine, today’s Vinegars maintain as many versatile uses as qualities to accentuate the best ingredients in your kitchen.
Spain, well known, for its commitment to high quality production, possesses a great variety of Sherry Vinegars which are a must for traditional Spanish cooking. Also known as the "King of Vinegars", the Sherry Vinegar’s long tradition and history date back as far as the 16th century. It is produced of the Sherry wine in the southern province of Cadiz inside the triangular area between the city of Jerez de la Frontera and towns of Sanlúcar de Barrameda and El Puerto de Santa María, known as the "sherry triangle". (And by the way, the word 'sherry' is just an Anglicization of Jerez.)
Italian Balsamic Vinegar has been around for 900 years or so and today originates from Modena, a city in northern Italy, near the Gulf of Genoa. Balsamic means 'like balsam' - and balsam is an aromatic resin - therefore balsamic vinegar simply refers to the fact that it is thick (resin like) and aromatic. Although many think of this Italian condiment as a Wine Vinegar, this is not the case at all. Unlike other cousins such as Red Vinegar, White Vinegar and Sherry Vinegar, Balsamic Vinegar is made from grape pressings that have never been allowed to ferment into wine. After the grapes are pressed and boiled down to thick dark syrup, the juice is aged in barrels under firm restrictions. During the vinegar aging process, moisture evaporates further, and the vinegar thickens concentrating the flavor. Aged Balsamic Vinegars can reach over 100 years of age, is very dark in color, and has a sweet, fruity flavor and a syrupy-type consistency. We also feature some great flavor infused Balsamic Vinegars for the more adventurous foody!