Spotlight Spice: Vermont Maple Balsamic Vinegar

Autumn is here, and the leaves are starting to change colors. We thoroughly enjoy the vibrant yellows and reds maple trees display this time of year. All the fall talk we’ve been doing this week has us craving one of our unique, perfect-for-fall balsamic vinegar flavors – Vermont Maple.

Like all of our balsamics, this flavored vinegar is great combined with an olive oil to create a vinaigrette for a hearty and earthy fall salad or as the foundation of a great marinade for pork and chicken. Our favorite pairings are the Vermont Maple Balsamic Vinegar and our Roasted Walnut Oil, Butter Infused Olive Oil, or Blood Orange Fused Olive Oil. It also pairs nicely with any unflavored extra virgin olive oil.

This flavor is a real star when used to create a balsamic reduction or glaze. Making a reduction at home is really simple:

  1. Start with around a cup of your favorite balsamic vinegar in a small saucepan. Heat the vinegar to a boil, then reduce to a simmer.
  2. Stir regularly and allow the balsamic to simmer until it easily coats the back of a spoon (typically 10-15 minutes).
  3. Allow to cool and enjoy!

If you prefer a thicker reduction, continue to simmer until you nearly reach your desired consistency. Keep in mind the reduction will continue to thicken a bit as it cools. Use as soon as it cools or keep in the refrigerator for up to a month.

We caught up with one of our favorite culinary experts, Chef Karla Boetel from the Iowa Culinary Institute, who picked up a bottle last week. She shared with us how she used it. “I had planned to use it to make a maple balsamic ice cream, but ended up needing a dessert that would work to-go,” she said. “So we turned it into a tasty drizzle by combining equal parts of maple syrup and Vermont Maple Balsamic and creating a reduction. You could use it on butternut squash, ice cream, or frozen custard. It would be good on just about anything.”  Chef Boetel and her students used it to create a maple balsamic glazed blueberry tart which was to die for!

Swing by the shop to pick up a bottle of this tasty fall flavor or grab a bottle online.  And if you’re in the Des Moines area, swing by the Iowa Culinary Institute for lunch at the Bistro or sign up for one of the Gourmet Dinners to enjoy a fantastic meal while supporting chefs-in-training.