Friday, May 15, 2009

Balsamic Syrup for Fresh Fruit

Strawberries with balsamic syrup

When I was seventeen, I lived and worked in Toronto for five months. It was a period of time right after high school when I hadn't yet decided if I wanted to remain in Trinidad or move abroad for college. So, I went to Canada. ( Supposedly the next best logical step considering I had many relatives there who would keep me in line, or so my parents hoped .) 

After a month of sightseeing and catching up with relatives, it was time to get a part time job. That way, if I  decided to go to college there, I would already have an idea of how the city works.  My job: quasi sales girl for a small company that sold Indian spices, sauces, and chutneys. The owner travelled around the country to trade shows promoting and selling her products; I started working with her at the Convention Center in downtown Toronto. 

So, there I was, in one of the most vibrant cities in the world, with the best options for food and the one thing that I gravitated towards was...chocolate covered bananas. A few yards  down the aisle from our booth was another booth that sold all sorts of chocolate covered fruit, from bananas to pineapple to peaches. Every day after lunch I would buy some sort of chocolate covered confection. Small wonder I gained close to twenty pounds during those five months. 

Now, whenever I feel for a chocolate banana, I make this balsamic syrup that substitutes well for the chocolate and also goes great with almost any fresh fruit. That is not to say I  don't have the real stuff once in a while. :o)

Bananas with balsamic syrup and toasted  almonds

Balsamic Syrup

1/2 cup balsamic vinegar
1/4 cup maple syrup
1/2 tsp vanilla extract
fresh fruit (strawberries, bananas, peaches, etc)

Add the balsamic vinegar and maple syrup to a heavy sauce pan set over medium heat. Cook for 7 to 8 minutes until thick and bubbly.  Stir in the vanilla and serve immediately over fresh fruit or ice cream. 


Chennette said...

that photo of the strawberries is beautiful!
apparently, really aged balsamic would be syrup on its own - have you ever tried that?

Natasha said...

Chennette: Thanks for your comment about the photo. Yes, I have tried aged balsamic and found that it provides a great counter point to ice cream in particular. With fruit, however, I prefer a slightly sweeter syrup.

Tangled Noodle said...

At first I thought this was a photo of strawberries with chocolate! The balsamic syrup looks and sounds fantastic - I will definitely have to try this not that summer fruits are on their way (mmmmm . . . peaches!)

gail said...

Mmmm!!!!! So delicious!! I never thought of maple syrup - yum!

Zesty Cook said...

These look amazing! WOW I am so hungry right now :)

CaptnRachel aka Tha Pizza Cutta said...

I've been searching for a go-to sweetened balsamic sauce!! Thanks so much- I can not wait to try this out :D

Natasha said...

Tangled Noodle:You know what they say? We first eat with our eyes. This was meant as a substitute for chocolate, so it's perfect that it looks just like that. It will go great with peaches. Yum!

Gail: I used maple syrup for two reasons. 1. the flavor, and 2. it is sweet but, in my opinion, not as sweet as honey or sugar.

Zesty Cook: Thanks for stopping by. Hope you get to make this soon.

Captn Rachel: I'm happy your search is over! Let me know what you think when you make it.

Ricardo said...

super delicious. i love this kind of stuff :) xx Rico-Recipes

zerrin said...

It's a perfect substitute for chocolate. I love the flavor of balsamic syrup and how fantastic it will be when I use it on some frsh kiwi. Thanks for this healthy recipe.

Sophie said...

I love your Balsamic syrup,
I just searched the internet for an excellent recipe & yours is that defenitly! Yum!

Marina7 said...

i'm eating strawberries right now...wish i had some balsamic syrup here...hehehe

Natasha said...

Ricardo, thanks for visiting. It always makes me happy when I make things that people immediately like.

Zerrin, I think this will go great with kiwi. I will have to try it myself.

Sophie, I'm honored that you found your perfect recipe here. Hope you can find more in the future!

Marina, que pasa? I know it's hard to cook where you are but maybe when you go home on break you can try this.