Balsamic vinegar is a staple in most kitchens. It has a deliciously crisp, slightly sweet flavor that brings out the flavor of foods. Use it in everything from salad dressing, to dips, to drizzles over vegetables, meats, and fruits.
Those who have Celiac disease and are gluten free may wonder, is balsamic vinegar gluten free?
What Is Balsamic Vinegar?
Balsamic vinegar is a condiment that originated in Italy. It comes in many different types of vinegar, quality levels, and price levels. Pure balsamic is made with no gluten grains, just grapes.
The vinegar is aged in barrels in a process that is similar to making wine. The resulting liquid is thick like a syrup. It is one of those things that you definitely get what you pay for! It has a crisp, nutty old-world flavor.
There are several kinds of balsamic vinegar, from traditional to condimento to imitation.
Traditional balsamic vinegar labelled Aceto Balsamico Tradizionale. It is made in Italy with a very old process. It is brewed and stored in wooden barrels. It is aged a minimum of 12 years, being moved to a new barrel every year. Traditional balsamic vinegar is expensive and can cost up to $200 per ounce!
Condimento is also made in Italy. Balsamic vinegar is made the old-fashioned way, but it isn't rated traditional because it was neither aged as long nor wasn't made under supervision. It doesn't follow the heavy rules and regulations that traditional balsamic vinegar is made under, which makes it much more affordable.
Imitation balsamic vinegar is pretty much a cheap vinegar made with artificial ingredients, including sweeteners and added color.
Read all of my research on which condiments are gluten free.
Answer: Is Balsamic Vinegar Gluten Free?
The short answer to the question is balsamic vinegar gluten free is that it depends. It depends on the type of vinegar. If you are Celiac, you need to ensure there is no gluten in our vinegar. Gluten contamination can happen in the vinegar-making process, but imitation balsamic vinegar is the highest risk.
- Traditional balsamic from Italy is made just with grapes and is gluten free. There are many strict traditions around making this aged vinegar. The imported variety of balsamic vinegar is by far the best in flavor.
- Condimento balsamic is also made primarily with grapes but is not aged for long. It is still considered real balsamic vinegar because of the brewing process. It is typically gluten free as well.
- Imitation balsamic vinegar is where you can run into trouble if you are gluten free. With cheap and imitation brands, you really need to read the labels. You want to look for artificial flavors, barley malt, caramel coloring, artificial colors, and other hidden gluten ingredients. The manufacturing facility can also make gluten products on the same equipment.
Mix balsamic with canola oil for a great salad dressing.
What Brands Of Balsamic Vinegar Are Gluten Free?
- Bertolli® Balsamic Vinegar of Modena
- Priano Balsamic Vinegar of Modena (Aldi brand)
- Primal Balsamic Vinegar
- Trader Joe's Organic Balsamic Vinegar
- Spectrum Balsamic Vinegar of Modena
- Alessi Premium Balsamic Vinegar
- Pompeian Balsamic Vinegar
- Lucini Balsamic Vinegar of Modena
- 365 Balsamic Vinegar of Modena (Whole Foods)
- Kirkland Signature Balsamic Vinegar
- Spectrum Organic Balsamic Vinegar
If you are making a salad, check to be sure that your olive oil is gluten free too!
How Can You Use Vinegar?
- Use balsamic in this delicious Fig Balsamic Jam. The flavor is beautiful.
- Make an incredible Balsamic Reduction Sauce and serve it over salad!
- Serve it over fruits like figs, apricots, and melon!
- Drizzle it over this delicious roasted eggplant dip!
Stay tuned for write-ups on other types of vinegar, including apple cider vinegar, red wine vinegar, rice vinegar, and white vinegar.
If you love the recipes you find on my blog, I would love for you to sign up for my newsletter (and get my free gluten free holiday cookies baking tips!)