Spotlight Spice: Dark Chocolate Balsamic Vinegar

This week’s spotlight is one folks taste and love, and then almost always ask, “What do you do with it?” Today we’re going to cast away the mysteries of how to use our Dark Chocolate Balsamic Vinegar.

The first thing we typically think about with the Dark Chocolate Balsamic is dessert. This vinegar is excellent drizzled over fruits like bananas, berries, and pineapple. It’s also wonderful on pound cake, cheesecake and ice cream. AllSpicer Andy likes to macerate strawberries in the balsamic, then serve over vanilla frozen custard. He says the best custard to pair it with is from Classic Frozen Custard on SE 14th Street in Des Moines (another locally-owned small business).

While desserts come to mind first, let’s talk about other delicious ways to use this balsamic in your cooking.

Dark chocolate isn’t always the first flavor we think about when dressing a salad, but vinaigrettes are a great way to use the Dark Chocolate Balsamic Vinegar. We recommend pairing it up with our Blood Orange Olive Oil or our Roasted Walnut Oil. The rich flavor of the dark chocolate works well with bold greens like spinach or arugula. For an extra-tasty salad, try adding a few leaves of roughly torn basil or mint, toasted pecans, or chicken.

Putting together a cheese board? Try adding a bit of this balsamic as a dip or drizzle for hard cheeses with intense flavors like Asiago, Parmesan, and provolone.

This balsamic also makes a great marinade for chicken. Try combining it with one of the spicier olive oils like Harissa or Chipotle, and brush over chicken or marinate in the fridge in a plastic bag prior to grilling. You can also use it with beef. Either use the marinade method (check out our Coffee Marinated Skirt Steak recipe in the recipe library), or use as a finisher after it comes off the grill.

Is the Dark Chocolate Balsamic Vinegar one of your favorites? Share your favorite uses and recipes with us in the comments.