Gianni is from a little Italian town south of Mantua, just one hour’s drive from Modena, where balsamico was invented seven hundred years ago. He knows from personal experience how traditional, aged balsamico tastes, and how it is classically used in Italian cuisine – as an elixir capable of enhancing and perfecting the flavor of foods.
In keeping with Apollo’s goal to support our local economy, he searched for years for a genuine balsamic made in California. Eventually, he found a good local source, visited the manufacturer and was especially pleased with one particular product, made properly, from the unfermented juice of California grapes. Still, it wasn’t like the real thing he knew from Italy. Then, as luck would have it, the perfect blending wine showed up on our very doorstep. With these 100% California ingredients, he has created a condiment that lives up to his memories, and emulates the finest products found in Italy.
In fact, our balsamic shows very well in blind tastings with premium imported products. It has a thick, dark brown color, with the delicious aromas of sweet, oak-aged wine that has gone delicately vinegary. The condensed, sweet-sour flavors linger – just like a traditional balsamico.
We are excited to share this specialty with you at half the price of similar imported products.
(Like an older, full-bodied red wine, our balsamic condiment may throw off some fine crystals as it continues to age. This harmless sediment is the unrefined cream of tartar used in baking.)
Time-honored ways to use traditional Balsamico, and Apollo’s balsamic condiment
Balsamico, which is much less vinegary than a real vinegar, tastes complex and luscious. To preserve these characteristics, it is best added at the end of cooking, or as a condiment to finish a dish. Used sparingly, it enhances flavors without overpowering them.
Common uses include:
• as the finishing touch on seafood
• deglazing a skillet after sauteing to make a fabulous meat sauce
• drizzled over steamed or roasted vegetables
• as a secret ingredient in salad dressings or marinades
In the fine restaurants of Modena, you can find the classic balsamic salad:
• Thin celery slices, covered with a layer of fresh porcini mushroom slices, and topped with paper-thin Parmigianino shavings – salted and dressed just with balsamic – no oil. A few flakes of fresh truffle may garnish the dish, if you’re especially lucky!
Some traditional uses are more unusual:
• Fresh strawberries are classically dribbled with balsamic and sprinkled with sugar.
• Balsamico, sipped from tiny liqueur glasses after dinner is a cordial that helps digestion.
According to fundamental rules, which are the result of a very long tradition, balsamico should be one of the last ingredients of a recipe. In cuisine, it is widely used:
• As a dressing for vegetables
• To finish roasted or grilled meat and fish
• As a specialty dressing for salad
Our true balsamico has been made out of must (the unfermented juice) from 100% California grapes. This vinegar, which is not really a vinegar, is a genuine elixir capable of enhancing and perfecting the flavor of foods, from the most elaborate to the simplest, most rustic dishes.
Here are two of Gianni’s favorite ways to use Apollo’s balsamic:
Saute steaks, deglaze the pan with a little balsamic, reducing it to a tasty, thick sauce.
While preheating the oven to 350 ◦F, sprinkle Portobello mushrooms with Apollo balsamic, Mistral, and salt. Bake a few minutes for a wonderful side dish.