Over the years, balsamic vinegar has gone from an exotic ingredient to a pantry staple. This Italian vinegar is a dark, thick, sweet-smelling liquid. When used in cooking, it adds a rich, dark color to the dish. When a dark color is undesirable, use white balsamic vinegar.
You can find quite a range in price for this vinegar. Just like wine, the grapes, processing and aging method and aging time contribute to the cost of the vinegar. The higher priced balsamic is best drizzled over cooked foods as a finishing touch.