The secrets for proper preservation of Balsamic Vinegar.
Balsamic Vinegar is one of the few products for food use with a very long shelf life. we can say that, in theory, balsamic vinegar does not have an expiry date, if we mean a period after which something is no longer edible and can even hurt: this does not happen with vinegar.
In spite of the lack of a real expiration date, however, there are some tricks to guarantee a good preservation of Balsamic Vinegar which, even if it does not go bad, it can see over time its exceptional qualities of aroma and taste deteriorate, thus ruining the product, which although edible, no longer has the taste for which we bought it.
Here is our guide with the best advice for preserving Balsamic Vinegar.
Does Balsamic Vinegar have an expiry date?
The immediate answer to this question is: no, it doesn’t have an expiry date.
To understand what affects the preservation of Balsamic Vinegar and its expiry date, you need to understand how vinegar is made. Vinegar is the by-product of a fermentation process called acetic fermentation, which occurs when oxygen “sneaks in” during the wine fermentation process, which causes aerobic bacteria to proliferate, i.e. bacteria that use oxygen in their metabolism.
These bacteria do nothing but oxidize the alcohol produced by other bacteria (anaerobic, that is, bacteria that do not like oxygen) and transform it into acetic acid. This is why when you open a bottle of wine and leave it open for a while, the wine “goes bad”, it becomes vinegar.
In the case of vinegar, however, once acetic fermentation has begun there is nothing else that can happen: there is no other bacterium that can proliferate or feed in the acid solution that has been created, so vinegar remains vinegar forever.
In bottles of vinegar left to rest for a long time a gelatinous deposit forms over time: the so-called “mother”: adding new wine to the mother creates more vinegar.
What influences the preservation of Balsamic Vinegar?
After clarifying why, scientifically, Balsamic Vinegar does not have an expiry date and that therefore the duration of Balsamic Vinegar is, in theory, forever, we clarify an important point:even if vinegar always remains vinegar, it doesn’t mean that flavors and aromas always remain the same.
The characteristic aromas and flavors of Balsamic Vinegar come from grape must, from aging in wooden barrels or from possible additions of aromas, and they can be sensitive to temperature changes or they can be “influenced” by other aromas, or by oxygen.
This is why for a correct Balsamic Vinegar preservation you should:
- Always seal the Balsamic Vinegar bottle as tightly as possible.
- Avoid exposing the Balsamic Vinegar to heat and direct sunlight, changes in temperature and humidity.
- Do not add (unless you want to experiment) substances with an intense aroma to vinegar or leave the bottle unsealed in contact with food or products that give off scents.
Balsamic Vinegar does not need to be stored in the refrigerator. What it needs to be stored in the refrigerator is Balsamic Vinegar glaze, which is a denser preparation obtained by adding caramel and thickeners.
Home Remedy for preserving Balsamic Vinegar
To preserve a good Balsamic Vinegar at home without having to use special equipment, a trick that increases the durability and quality of the product is to find a place in the house where temperature and humidity are constant and keep it in the dark in a sealed bottle (if it has not yet been opened do not open it for no reason) or in a bottle or glass container with an airtight cap. If the bottle has already been opened but for whatever reason and you are not sure of the seal of the cap, a home solution is to put transparent film between the cap and the bottle to prevent air from entering.
An example of an ideal place can be, for those who do not have a cellar, a closed wooden sideboard. on a high shelf that is not very close to the oven, stove, refrigerator, heating or air conditioning: the wood acts as an insulating material and keeps the conditions inside quite stable.
Economical remedy for preserving Balsamic Vinegar
An economical remedy for preserving balsamic vinegar and maintaining quality over time is a sealing cap. There are bottles already equipped with hermetically sealed closures, or it is possible, spending very little money, to buy a sealing cap for vinegar in order to have a perfect closure without losing the aromas over time.
Professional remedy: how to preserve Balsamic Vinegar perfectly
If you have purchased a high quality Balsamic Vinegar, if you are an enthusiast, if you are a lover of gourmet cuisine and at home you always have a selection of high quality ingredients to impress your guests and you want to keep everything at its best, then the best solution to increase the durability of balsamic vinegar is to buy a thermo-controlled wine cellar.
The advantage of owning such an appliance is that you can preserve for a long time (even for years) not only the Balsamic Vinegar but also high quality wines, liqueurs and sparkling wines.
In conclusion: does balsamic vinegar have a expiry date?
Now you have discovered, in a few short paragraphs, the secrets of preserving balsamic vinegar! You are part of that circle of people who know that balsamic vinegar has no expiry date but that, sometimes, it deserves some more attention to preserve its unmistakable taste.
You no longer have any excuse for not preserving your finest vinegars properly.