July 28, 2017

Balsa Mela and Italian Herbed Salt

I’m always looking for small food items that make big flavor improvements, basics like vinegar and salt. Balsa Mela, a Balsamic Apple Vinegar is my current passion for salads and vegetables.

Andrea Bezzecchi of Acetaia San Giacomo cooks apple juice and apple vinegar and ages the naturally sweet liquid for up to three years in oak, cherry and juniper barrels.
You can drizzle it on ice cream or fruit, add it to cocktails or make your own savory vinaigrette.  A few drops on steamed fresh asparagus is the perfect spring dish.
And just like wines and champagnes, it isn’t officially Balsamic vinegar unless it comes from the Italian regions of Modena and Emilia-Romagna.

If you can’t jet off to Italy, where can you find this ambrosial product?  I have written about The City Olive before, but it remains the shop to visit when you need a unique party gift or ideas on how to put more zing into your own cooking.

Another taste sensation is the Vignalta Sale Alle Erbe delle Marlunghe, or herbed sea salt from Italy. I don’t generally over-salt my food, but this product is so aromatic that just a pinch improves the flavor of eggs, vegetables, fish, poultry or meat. The concoction contains fresh herbs typical of Veneto regional cuisine like rosemary, garlic, sage and black pepper. Bring the taste of Italy to your kitchen. The City Olive will also ship purchases.

The City Olive
5644 N. Clark St., Chicago, IL 60660
773-942-6424

http://www.cityolive.com

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