Does balsamic vinegar go bad? NO, it doesn’t expire but there are some exceptions to it. Keep reading to find out more about it.
A staple in many pantries, balsamic vinegar, is a flavored vinegar that elevates the taste of various dishes and cuisines. However, if you are only using it for your occasional salad vinaigrettes, the bottle can sit in your kitchen for months or even years. So, does balsamic vinegar go bad? Let’s find out more about the ingredient and its shelf life.
What is Balsamic Vinegar
The manufacturers reduce and press Trebbiano and Lambrusco grapes to make this vinegar. It is an aged, concentrated, and intensely flavored condiment often used in Italian cuisine and salads.
To make it, they reduce the grape juice into a thick syrup and keep it in wooden barrels to age. The process of aging can take anywhere between twelve to twenty-five years. Not only does the acidic nature of the grapes add more flavor to the vinegar as it ages, it also creates an extreme environment that discourages any form of bacterial growth and is thus self-preserving. The taste of this delicious condiment is smooth and intense.
Does Balsamic Vinegar Go Bad?
The answer is- rarely. Balsamic vinegar can be passed down to generations and can still be fine as it doesn’t expire quickly. However, if it is not stored correctly, the taste will change, and it will go bad.
With years, you will notice cloud formation on top of the vinegar layer, sedimentation, and change in color as well. However, these are just aesthetic changes and don’t change the vinegar flavor or quality.
When stored in the right conditions, you can keep this vinegar in your pantry for years. Another essential factor to keep in mind when using age-old vinegar is choosing the traditional version of balsamic.
Most of us use commercially prepared balsamic vinegar, which is an inexpensive option with the same taste. But, commercially prepared vinegar bottles come with a best by date figures as they are not aged well.
On the other hand, traditionally made balsamic vinegar gets better with age, just like wine, and lasts for years.
The pantry age or peak flavor age for traditional balsamic vinegar is 20+ years. In contrast to that, commercial balsamic vinegar lasts for +3 years in its peak in terms of flavor. However, it is okay to consume both the categories even after they pass the date, without any health concerns. They don’t taste as good.
How to Store Balsamic Vinegar
You can store balsamic vinegar just like any other type of vinegar, in a cool and dry place. The only exception to the storage of this particular vinegar is the type of bottle it comes in. The bottle for balsamic vinegar should be dark, not transparent. You should also keep the vinegar away from the sunlight, with a tight lid on the bottle. In simple words, balsamic vinegar should be in a dark bottle, in a dark corner away from the sunlight.
Heat and light affect the flavor of balsamic vinegar and also leads to rapid deterioration. Thus, you should avoid buying a clear bottle of the same. Keeping the bottle tightly sealed, when not in use, helps in the longevity of balsamic vinegar’s shelf life and the quality of flavor as well.
Hope our article was able to clear all your doubts. Take your pasta and salad games to the next level with this age-old kitchen ingredient from Italy!