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ThisOldGarageNJ 09-08-2009 04:10 AM

***Reducing Balsamic***
Hi All,
I was reading in a thread yesterday about reducing Balsamic vinegar to a syrup.... How exactly does one go about doing this,,, I'm Still learning to cook and I've seen this come up a few times "reduction" any help appreciated and what are the benefits of a reduction ?

Thanks Mark

egalecki 09-08-2009 06:19 AM

Re: ***Reducing Balsamic***
To reduce something, put it in a pan and boil it gently until it's the amount you're after. This boils off the water and leaves more of the "essence" of your liquid. Makes it thicker, richer, and stronger, among other things. If you want to reduce balsamic, watch it carefully since it's got a fair amount of sugar in it, and it will burn if you get it too far reduced.

Maple syrup is basically a reduction, if you think about it.

One reason you might want to reduce balsamic is so you can put a drop or two on fresh strawberries- it's amazing that way.

texassourdough 09-08-2009 07:58 AM

Re: ***Reducing Balsamic***
Hi Mark!

I reduce lots of things: balsamic, merlot (plus sugar as a preservative), chicken stock, etc.

As Elizabeth says boil gently. You don't want to drive all the volatiles (aromatics) out of the liquid. For balsamic I typically boil a cup down to 1/4 cup or so. For wine I usually push it further - a bottle to half a cup or so. I sometimes take stock from a quart or so down to a few spoonfuls. Gives really intense flavor. An issue to watch out for is salt. You don't want to start with a salted liquid or it is likely to be way too salty when you finish. So, for stock I only do home-made, unsalted stock as the beginning and season it when finished.

Good Luck!

ThisOldGarageNJ 09-08-2009 03:01 PM

Re: ***Reducing Balsamic***

So Im understanding that your basically making a concentrated version ?

texassourdough 09-08-2009 08:11 PM

Re: ***Reducing Balsamic***
Yeah, that's basically it!

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