Can Balsamic Vinegar Go Bad?
Balsamic vinegar is more expensive than traditional vinegar, so if you’ll find a bottle of it stored for a long time in the pantry, you’ll surely ask yourself “can balsamic vinegar go bad?”. While there’s a slight possibility that it will go bad (if stored improperly), in almost all cases it will be fine to use for years after buying. So, the answer to the question is affirmative – balsamic vinegar can go bad, but it happens very rarely and only in certain circumstances. Let’s go through the most important pieces of information about storing vinegar, how its quality will be good and how to tell if it's bad. Sounds interesting? Read on!
Storing Balsamic Vinegar
Balsamic vinegar should be stored like any other vinegar. That is, it should be kept in a cool, dry area, in a dark coloured bottle (not clear) and away from light. Therefore, most people keep it in the pantry, as it seems to be the best choice. Heat and light will affect the taste of balsamic vinegar, so do your best to keep it away from them. Never buy balsamic vinegar that's in a clear bottle as the light will cause the balsamic to deteriorate more rapidly.
After opening the bottle, the thing to remember is that it should be always sealed tightly when not in use. If you store vinegar in a bottle without it's cap, chances are some contaminants might find their way into the bottle and start to develop in there. Even though vinegar isn’t the best place for bacteria and other microorganisms to grow (due to the acidic environment), it might happen. When you always keep the bottle sealed, vinegar going bad isn’t a risk.
As mentioned earlier, vinegar will last years if stored properly. But the sole fact that balsamic vinegar is safe to consume 5 or 10 years after production isn’t the only thing that matters. There’s one more thing that’s even more important – the quality of vinegar over time. You should remember that balsamic vinegar is in it's best quality only for a couple of years ( 2 to 3 years maybe) and its quality slowly deteriorates. So if you find a bottle of balsamic vinegar that was sitting in the cellar for 10 years, the vinegar is safe to consume, but in most cases you really won’t be happy about its taste. The best thing to do is to taste it before using, so you’ll be sure if it still can be used or if you would much rather discard it for quality reasons.