Is Balsamic Vinegar Supposed to be Thick?

I bought a bottle of balsamic vinegar from Ah Love Oil, and it’s as thick as maple syrup. I’m used to the ‘affordable’ bottles that I get at the supermarket, so I’m not sure if this is what ‘real’ balsamic vinegar is supposed to be like. I made some salad dressing, and thinned it out with a little white vinegar just so I could pour it on the salad.

No. Are thickeners added or did you buy a reduction or something meant to be a glaze?

The thick ones are not meant for salad dressing. They are actually kind of a comdiment. I drizzle it over grilled veges, or reggiano, etc. I use a less expensive but still good balsamic for salad.


The label says ‘traditional balsamic vinegar’, and there is no ingredients list. I guess it must be the condiment style that winecountrygirl mentioned. I’ll have to rethink my uses for the bottle!

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No thickeners. You can get a similar result by reducing balsamic.

Traditional balsamic has a syrup consistency. There is no standard of identity for balsamic vinegars in the U.S. so the affordable stuff you see at the supermarket is pretty much always fake, usually just cheap mass-produced vinegars with flavorings and caramel color added.

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Aged balsamic vinegar is definitely syrup-thick and can be quite sweet. Best used as a drizzle for veggies, fresh fruit (fantastic on strawberries), parma ham, or even ice cream.


Traditional balsamic vinegar (true “traditional” balsamic is labeled “Aceto Balsamico Tradizionale” and carries a D.O.P.) can be thicker than regular stupidmarket balsamics, depending on how aged it is. Does it have an aging on it? I was give a bottle of 25yo aged balsamic about 10-15 years ago, and it was syrupy even then. (Even more so now!)

The next level is Condimento - made in the same manner as Tradizionale, but cannot receive that designation because they weren’t made with proper supervision or didn’t meet Tradizionale standards.


Great link. Thanks!

We like this balsamic ( and use it on everything, including salads. It is certainly thicker than a bottle of grocery store balsamic vinegar.

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Great info in that link.
This is why I like to ask questions here, I always get an education!

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Dip a little chunk of good Parmesan in it & eat it… It’ll be an awakening.


Great answers to a question that has bothered me for some time.

I am looking for a thicker one to drizzle over tomatoes and Mozzarella cheese. Are there any people can recommend that I can keep an out eye for?


Yes, JFood. Villa Manodori. Thick and delicious - especially with reggiano!

Oh yikes, don’t mix it with white vinegar…! You could add a bit of olive oil to make a quick salad dressing.

I tasted a 50 year old balsamic once; we had it over ice cream and strawberries, and it was almost as thick as Hershey syrup. Delicioso, but very very expensive.

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