Balsamic vinegar is a great ingredient that you can use to add an extra zing to your dishes. It has a distinctly sweet but acidic flavor that just switches up the flavors present in a dish.
If you happen to stumble on an old bottle of balsamic vinegar in your cupboard, but don’t know if you should still use it for your next dish, don’t throw away that bottle just yet.
You may not be aware of how long balsamic vinegar can last; it would be a waste to throw away an entirely good bottle if you find one. Read on to find out about the shelf life of balsamic vinegar, as well as a few other things about this great ingredient.
What Is Balsamic Vinegar
Balsamic vinegar is a type of vinegar that was originally made in Italy. It is usually made with grapes and possesses a sweet flavor similar to the ones you get from fogs, molasses, cherries, chocolates, or prunes.
Today, balsamic vinegar is often used for vegetable salad dressings or to add more flavors to the meat. It has a mellow tartness and is less acidic than other types of vinegar in the market today.
Uses of Balsamic Vinegar
There are three primary uses for balsamic vinegar; each depends on the age of the vinegar itself.
3 to 5 years, is excellent for salad dressings, marinades, etc.
6 to 11 years, is more viscous and versatile. Can be used for sauces to marinades and mixed with mayonnaise or sour cream for a sandwich condiment.
12 to 150 years or older is best used after the cooking is finished. It has a unique taste all its own and is best used with lightly seasoned dishes so it can shine on its own.
Health Benefits Of Balsamic Vinegar
Aside from being a great ingredient that can add flavor to all sorts of dishes, balsamic vinegar is also celebrated for its wide array of health benefits. Some health benefits you can enjoy from eating balsamic vinegar includes:
1. Slowed Down Aging
Balsamic vinegar contains a lot of antioxidants that can enhance cell growth and can prevent your skin from aging prematurely. Its antioxidants also harden your body’s arterial walls, therefore enhancing blood circulation as well.
2. Reduced Risk Of Cancer
The antioxidants contained in balsamic vinegar can also enhance your body’s immune system. In the process, it can help you avoid infections, inflammations, and health issues that can lead to serious cancer.
3. Pain Relief
Balsamic vinegar has long been used to treat minor headaches and even pain staking migraines. It can also be used as an anti-bacterial medicine to treat infections and wounds.
4. Weight Loss
Balsamic vinegar contains way less fatty acids that most salad dressings. If you were to replace other dressings or vinaigrettes in your diet with balsamic vinegar, you would be able to reduce the amount of fat you intake, therefore leading to eventual weightloss.
5. Insulin Control
Balsamic vinegar can be used to increase your insulin sensitivity, making you have a reduced risk of diabetes.
Balsamic Vinegar Shelf Life
Since vinegar is an organic food substance, you may think that it will eventually go bad just like other natural foods do. However, just like other types of vinegars, unopened and opened bottles of vinegar have an indefinite shelf life.
Yes, you read that right, vinegar doesn’t expire. That’s why it is often used to pickle all sorts of food for long periods of time.
Even if you find your vinegar looking all cloudy, it’s merely aesthetics and doesn’t affect the taste or overall status of your balsamic vinegar. As long as you keep it in a nice airtight and clean container, you can use it with all sorts of food in the kitchen.
How To Properly Store Balsamic Vinegar
To keep you balsamic vinegar for a long time, you should store it in a clean and airtight container and put it in a cool dark place away from heat.
Another thing you should do to keep your balsamic vinegar at its best is to keep it at constant temperatures. If you want to keep it in your fridge, or cupboard, you can do so, just don’t switch it up now and then.
A Quick Recap
Balsamic vinegar is a great ingredient you can use with all sorts of meals to add a mellow acidic flavor. Aside from switching up the flavors of your dish, you may also want to use balsamic vinegar for a healthier diet since it is filled with antioxidants and less fat.
You may also want to buy a large bottle or jar of balsamic vinegar because as you have learned, it can last a lifetime when stored properly even when opened.
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