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. 

12 comments:

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.