Ask Evan: How Long Does Balsamic Vinegar Keep?

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Every Tuesday I answer a question from a Good Food listener. You can email me a question, leave one on Facebook or add one in the comments section here. This week’s question comes from Margaret:

Yesterday in the back of my cupboard I found a bottle of balsamic vinegar, which over the years had solidified. I put some water in it and it did not move so I emptied it out. But this morning I poked around in the bottle with a skewer and there is liquid!  What I want to know are the contents of the bottle meant for the trash can or is it “liquid gold”.

So the real question is, was that bottle actually balsamic vinegar, made by aging vinegar in a series of difference wood casks until the magic liquid reduced and thickened becoming a sweet-sour magnificence?  Or was the bottle filled with water mixed with color and taste “enhancers” made with wheat?  If the former, yes it’s liquid gold.  If the latter, go back to Trader Joe’s and buy another bottle.