Let us assume that not all of us use balsamic vinegar at home on a regular basis. Nevertheless, this dressing is widely used in certain recipes and it is becoming more and more popular, and of course, people start wondering: how long is balsamic vinegar good for? How to keep it correctly to avoid spoilage?
This and other questions will be answered in the following article.
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Where Is Balsamic Used and What For? Its History of Origin
Well, balsamic vinegar has come to us from sunny Italy. This dressing is made of grape must, wholly or partially, and it is known for its strong and specific odor, a very dark color, and very concentrated texture.
It is mostly used either to highlight the taste of cheeses and sausages in Italy, as well as together with eggs, fish dishes and steaks. On the other hand, Italians can use it even with fresh fruits and ice cream! Of course, only a few drops of vinegar is applied.
In other countries, the tastes are not so extremal and balsamic vinegar is mostly added to the seafood dishes, pasta, and dishes with rice.
This dressing adds a specific and piquant flavor and taste to the dishes and eliminates their own taste accordingly.
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Balsamic Vinegar Shelf Life
Now that you know where it can be used, why not find out more about how to deal with this product once you have bought it and brought home?
Many of those who usually don’t use balsamic vinegar on a regular basis, find it somewhat difficult and confusing to figure out how to store it properly. Sometimes, even if one follows the storage tips indicated on the bottle label, the vinegar can become bad.
So how long does balsamic vinegar last? If being stored under the proper conditions, in a tightly sealed container, balsamic vinegar can keep its qualities and remain usable for nearly three years if you keep it in a pantry.
Does balsamic vinegar expire? You may be very surprised but, when being properly stored, balsamic vinegar dressing will preserve its best quality for three years at most, however, even after this term pass, it will still be usable for the indefinite period of time.
So, as you can see, balsamic vinegar expiration depends only on how well you keep it.
Can balsamic vinegar go bad, you may ask? In fact, it can’t. Again, it is possible only if the dressing will be kept in proper conditions.
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Storage Tips and Nuances
Now let’s figure out what we shall do to extend the lifespan of our balsamic vinegar to its longest if not to forever. First of all, since this dressing is vinegar itself, you shall follow the certain rules of storage that are common for all kinds of vinegar, for example apple cider vinegar or rice wine vinegar.
Keep the balsamic vinegar bottle in a cool and dry place away from direct sunlight and any light at all. High temperature and light have a bad effect on balsamic vinegar dressing and can spoil its taste.
One more useful tip to always keep in mind is that, when your vinegar is not in use, ensure that its bottle is sealed tightly. Otherwise, some contaminants may get inside the bottle and the vinegar will be lost forever.
Some may ask “should you refrigerate balsamic vinegar after opening?” Well, we would not say that it is needed. As long as you manage to keep the bottle away from light and heat and close it thoroughly with the cap, you can be sure that the vinegar will be fine.
Does balsamic vinegar need to be refrigerated at all? It depends on where you mostly use it. There is no restriction saying that balsamic vinegar must stay away from the fridge, so, if you add it to the salads mostly and prefer it to be chilled, then feel free to refrigerate it and don’t worry, it will not get ruined.
How Can We Use Balsamic Vinegar Except For the Salad Dressing?
Balsamic acetum, due to its specific taste and aroma, is not that widely consumed as other vinegars. Nevertheless, this natural dressing can be used in surprisingly many kinds of different food we couldn’t even think about!
Since it contains a low amount of fat, balsamic acetum is far more preferable as a food ingredient compared to oil, for instance. In addition, it is far less rare than several other vinegars like cane acetum produced in the Philippines, or rice acetum that is widely applied in China. There is even a coconut one, did you know that?!
So where could this delicious, even though slightly unusual, dressing be used except for the salad?
- Food marinating
A perfect choice for those who are tired of usual marinades. Just mix it with some virgin olive oil, salt, and pepper, and here we go, a super-fast marinade for meat is ready! For marinades, we would recommend using young vinegars since they are stronger but still have pleasant fruitiness.
- Fast veggie dip
Are you in a hurry and you need to make a fast and easy snack? Some cut carrots and celery dipped with a mix of olive oil, balsamic, and seasonings will serve as perfect eating, light and healthy.
This sort of acetum fits meat and fish food perfectly, especially when being added right to the hot pan! Just pick the right seasoning, and your dish will become unforgettable! Low-density acetum will suit this purpose best of all.
- Savory food finishing
No time for preparing complicated sauces but you still want to add some specialty to the savory course? A couple of old, dense balsamic acetum drops, and no matter whether it’s fish or meat, their taste will become more intense.
- A perfect match for cheeses
Not all vinegars can be added to the cheese. However, balsamic is just perfect for this. We would advise you to pick aged one since it will better highlight the shades of cheese taste.
- Strawberry sauce and ice cream
That may sound crazy but balsamic acetum can indeed be used like this! Even though most of us will say that it’s not the kind of food to add it to, we suggest you give it a try. A couple of drops on vanilla ice cream, or on fresh strawberries will give these summer treats brand new taste! By the way, they say that balsamic-strawberry sauce for Panna Cotta tastes also amazing!
Frequently Asked Questions
Even despite all the information that you have found above, you may still have some questions regarding the balsamic vinegar storage or usage specifics.
That is why we decided to collect several most frequently asked questions regarding this issue so that you could take a look at them whenever you need it.
Can balsamic vinegar be used after the expiration date indicated on the bottle?
Absolutely! Vinegar is probably one of the most long-lasting products in the world as it doesn’t get spoiled unless you manage to do something incredibly awful to it!
So don’t worry and feel free to keep on using your vinegar after it has “expired”. Eventually, it would not be reasonable to discard a product that is pretty expensive.
- My balsamic turned “cloudy”. Is it safe to use?
Indeed, after some time of storage, balsamic vinegar becomes somewhat cloudy but it is a completely natural thing for this dressing. So, if you have been storing it properly, don’t stress, no bacteria have crawled into the bottle and settled in there!
- What is the maximum term that I can use balsamic vinegar after purchasing it?
If you store it properly and keep away from light and heat, your vinegar will be able to last even up to ten years, just imagine that!
- What if balsamic did turn bad? How to define it?
Well, if you were storing it with the cap removed, your balsamic vinegar will most likely become spoiled sooner or later. To find it out, check the bottle for any traces of mold first of all.
If you don’t spot any inside, taste a little bit of vinegar. The good vinegar tastes mildly acidic with some sweetness, so if you taste something harsh, then your vinegar is probably off.
Use these tips whenever you buy balsamic vinegar for cooking and enjoy this dressing that will make your dishes taste awsome!
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