NEW YORK, NEW YORK - OCTOBER 12:  Ina Garten speaks onstage during a talk with Helen Rosner at the 2019 New Yorker Festival on October 12, 2019 in New York City. (Photo by Brad Barket/Getty Images for The New Yorker)

Food - News

The Balsamic Vinegar Brand Ina Garten Swears By
Ina Garten — the Food Network chef known as the “Barefoot Contessa” — has a favorite brand of balsamic vinegar that she places above all other brands. Garten’s balsamic vinegar of choice is Fini Modena, which retails for under $20. The product is certified Italian vinegar and produced under strict food regulations, protecting buyers from imitations.
Traditional balsamic vinegar is made only in Italy’s Reggio Emilia and Modena and made from grapes and processed similar to fortified wines for at least twelve years. Williams-Sonoma describes "Fini" balsamic vinegar as being "deep and complex" with "the right balance of tart flavor" without being too sweet or thick, as an aged balsamic or glaze could be.
Traditional balsamic vinegar isn't meant to be cooked with or used in a salad dressing but home cooks should garnish berries or Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese with just a few drops to add sweetness and smokiness. Or, you can add a drizzle to ice cream or macerate strawberries in it, as Garten does in her panna cotta recipe.