Party season is nearly upon us and it’s time to refresh our appetizer recipe collection. A classic cheese or charcuterie board is always a great option to fall back on if you’re in a pinch, but according to Giada De Laurentiis, charcuterie boards are out and balsamic tastings are in.
“So lately, instead of cheese boards and charcuterie boards, I’ve been really into doing balsamic tastings when I have friends over,” De Laurentiis says in a March 20 Instagram video. “And I love it because all I have to do is get three different types of balsamic vinegar.” She then prepares a board with bread and cheese to act as vehicles for the tasting.
De Laurentiis adds, “what I like to do is just get some Bocconcini mozzarella, some parmesan, and some yummy focaccia, and then everyone can just dip in what they want.”
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So which balsamic does De Laurentiis like best? “What I like to do is do a little young vinegar, like the traditional balsamic vinegar aged three years. Something similar to what you’d find in a grocery store,” De Laurentiis says in the video. “It’s got more acidity to it.”
She recommends trying out the 3-year-old Bonini Modena Balsamic Vinegar, which you can grab through her Giadzy online shop. Encourage your guests to try this one with focaccia bread — “it absorbs it and gives it a nice bite,” De Laurentiis adds.
Then, you’ll want a balsamic that’s a bit more rich, like Guerzoni Balsamic Vinegar of Modena (12 Year).
“This one is like the supreme more luxurious — the most luxurious of all balsamic vinegar,” De Laurentiis says. “It’s aged 12 years (almost as old as Jade), and it’s very rich and very velvety and super luxurious.” This balsamic pairs great with chunks of parmesan cheese because together they’re “rich, buttery, slightly sweet because of the age. The longer [the balsamic] ages, the more thick and rich it becomes.”
Finally, De Laurentiis likes to add a wildcard to her balsamic tasting. “My favorite right now is this cherry vinegar from Vila Manodori, which is Massimo Bottura’s,” she says. “And this one is going to be also very rich and velvety but slightly sweet.”
This one pairs great with the mozzarella because “mozzarella doesn’t have a ton of flavor, so you want to add that sweet richness,” De Laurentiis explains.
Cheese boards and great and all, but balsamic-tasting boards will really wow your friends and family, and you may even teach them a thing or two about balsamic!
In search of more summer recipes? Giada De Laurentiis has plenty:
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