Density of a balsamic vinegar is an important variable when defining the quality of the product. We are talking about natural balsamics with no thickening agents.You will find balsamic vinegars on grocery store shelves which are as liquid as water, but a good balsamic vinegar needs to be viscous, dense and smooth. Density is given by the ratio of 1 litre of the initial product (35.19 fl.oz) to 1 kg (35.27 ounces) of the final finished product. In other words, the density is the result of the amount of liquid evaporation that occurs during the period of aging of the vinegar. If a balsamic vinegar has a 1.33 density, this means it weighs 1.33 kilograms for every 1 litre.Therefore the percentage of grape-must will be higher than the one of liquid on the final product making it a higher quality balsamic than the ones with lower density.
Producers of industrial-grade balsamic add sugar, caramel and/or other additives to make it look darker and denser, make sure you always read the back label for extra information of the product you intend to buy. A good balsamic vinegar has to be FREE of any kind of additives, preservatives, coloring, caramel, sugar and water (yes, even water) most of the so called balsamic you will find at your regular grocery store have water, sugar, caramel, coloring and cheap wine vinegar, basically you are paying for nothing. Like the saying goes, good things in life come at a price, and Balsamic vinegar is no exception.
Go ahead and try it out -- tilt the bottle sideways and make sure the vinegar moves slowly, smoothly and sticks to the glass like in the picture above. Remember to always read the label !
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