26 Oct2006


A bottle of local “Balsamic Vinegar,” and apparently made from duhat fruit to boot…how’s that for a Marketman double take?!? I simply could not resist. I bought the bottle for PHP100 and hoped for the best. Traditional Italian balsamic vinegar is made from the must of grapes which are boiled down then concentrated further in a progression of different wood barrels which are subject to the extremes of summer heat and winter cold in and around Modena, Italy. Prior to the last 20 years or so, balsamic vinegar was considered a tonic, or a “balsam” for health reasons. It was sometimes imbibed in little glasses like a medicine or drizzled on food to enhance flavors. As its popularity grew and it became a “mainstream” vinegar, cheap “copies” or versions of it were mass produced in Italy, sometimes with a decent shadow of the original, or at worst, simply colored and sweetened wine vinegar… Nevertheless, I have NEVER seen the term applied to vinegars from outside Italy and I suppose there isn’t a patent on the term but it was a bit bizarre to see this dark vinegar from Ilocos labeled balsamic vinegar…

Back home, I opened the vinegar and it smelled curiously close to a cheap Italian Balsamic vinegar – somewhat fruity, sweetish and intense. However, it duh2was incredibly watery and far more acidic. I was amazed that it was the result of fermenting duhat fruit and had it not taken on the “balsamic” label, which I consider partially fraudulent, I would have thought it a really cool vinegar in it’s own right. Anyone who has been under a duhat tree at the peak of its fruit bearing cycle can practically smell the fruit fermenting into vinegar… I haven’t tried this vinegar with too many foods yet but I suspect it would pair nicely with a grilled fish or other grilled meats. At just USD2 a bottle, it is certainly far cheaper than some of the most spectacular Italian aceto balsamico tradizionale that can run upwards of USD100 for a tiny bottle with perhaps a cup or two of syrupy liquid. But I really shouldn’t compare the two at all. Let’s just say the duhat vinegar was an interesting find. But it would be akin to saying my splatter acrylic canvases should share the same wall space as a stunning Jackson Pollack. This duhat vinegar will not share space with my real balsamics just yet… If you are interested, get some at the Ilocos stall at the first floor hallway of the Market!Market! Mall in Fort Bonifacio. Kudos to the manufacturers for the effort!



  1. anonymous paul says:

    hmm. i usually take cheap balsamic and reduce/simmer it till get a slightly thicker consistency. the acid also mellows out. maybe a pinch of sugar if too acidic. an inexpensive way to get “mock balsamico”. i’m imagining the duhat variety should prolly produce a more fruity syrup and should also go well drizzled over some chunks of grana padano or strawberries!

    Oct 26, 2006 | 9:03 pm


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  3. fried-neurons says:

    Interesting. Does it taste like duhat at all?

    BTW, A.G. Ferrari sells a 50-year-old balsamic that costs $349 for a 100ml bottle. :)

    Oct 26, 2006 | 10:45 pm

  4. lojet says:

    I wonder if boiling it down would improve it’s taste like it does with cheap balsamics from italy.

    Oct 26, 2006 | 11:28 pm

  5. Maria Clara says:

    I cannot compare grapes to duhat. Both have their own distinguishing characteristics. Colorwise the Concord grapes have exactly the same color as the duhat. Perhaps reduction would improve the quality? I think this is a big step forward the so-called duhat balsamico suka to pave its way to homes and restaurants for its varietal use. It is still in its infancy but hope to evolve into a hot item soon that I am proud to call it our OWN.

    Oct 27, 2006 | 12:30 am

  6. Marketman says:

    I, too, wonder if it will thicken if reduced…will try it one day and let you know…

    Oct 27, 2006 | 6:06 am

  7. CecileJ says:

    Kudos to the creators of the duhat vinegar. Maybe calling it balsamic was a bit too presumptuous. But the DO deserve our patronage for their efforts to globalize local products!

    Oct 27, 2006 | 8:34 am

  8. trishlovesbread says:

    Might be good in adobo?

    Oct 28, 2006 | 10:07 am

  9. Marketman says:

    trishlovesbread, your idea to use it in adobo sounds good… I may give that a try one of these days…

    Oct 28, 2006 | 1:16 pm

  10. renelmac says:

    Was in Market!MArket! this past weekend, and was looking for the duhat vinegar you were saying, found the kiosk (Near ForMe boutique) and was surprised to know, they were selling it at 180 instead of 100. they didnt have stock anymore but they pointed me to their other store outside in the produce area where they had 2 bottles left. saw it but the price was a bleeder especially if you got it at 100php only, (80 peso increase in 2 days??? Hot Daym!)

    Oct 30, 2006 | 9:22 am

  11. Marketman says:

    renelmac, hmmm, that doesn’t sound right. I am pretty sure I paid PHP100 a bottle, but then again, I also bought 5 bottles of another vinegar and maybe I am or they were confused…I can’t find my receipt to verify. Btw, I made an adobo with the duhat vinegar and it turned out superb…but not sure it would be worth PHP180 unless like me, you experiment more and more…

    Oct 30, 2006 | 9:27 am

  12. Marketman says:

    renelmac, OOPS, my mistake, seems I paid PHP100 per bottle for Arenga vinegar and possibly did pay PHP180 for the Duhat vinegar… I just saw the prices on the Arenga vinegar but the duhat bottle doesn’t have a price… SORRY for the confusion…

    Oct 30, 2006 | 8:25 pm

  13. Tupz says:

    Where can I buy those cheap Balsamic Vinegar? Balsamic in the groceries are quite expensive. I wish this Duhat Vinegar will go back to it’s original price of P100.

    Oct 31, 2006 | 1:00 pm

  14. Marketman says:

    Tupz, please read the post for where you can buy it. And it was my error, the price was PHP180 per bottle, not much cheaper than balsamic in the groceries…

    Oct 31, 2006 | 1:08 pm

  15. relly says:

    I bought duhat wine from Manila airport last march but did not try yet!

    Nov 1, 2006 | 3:46 pm

  16. Tupz says:

    I’m sorry but I mean the real Balsamic Vinegars. Where can I buy inexpensive balsamic vinegar? I need a lot of Balsamic Vinegar for Christmas.


    Nov 2, 2006 | 12:40 pm

  17. Marketman says:

    Tupz, you may want to try cash & carry or unimart or the new Price Smart when it opens Nov. 9, under new management…

    Nov 2, 2006 | 5:03 pm

  18. Tupz says:

    I tried the Duhat Vinegar and I don’t like the taste and aroma.

    Nov 7, 2006 | 11:03 am

  19. Marketman says:

    Tupz, try cooking with it.

    Nov 7, 2006 | 12:00 pm

  20. relly says:

    MM… the duhat wine was not bad. Serve cold as a cocktail because it is a bit sweet…i think American consumer will love that for their cocktail party as thay are fond of sweet wine!
    At least my husband had appreciate it this time!

    Nov 12, 2006 | 4:06 am

  21. edee says:

    Jul 19, 2007 | 12:29 am

  22. chelo de pedro says:

    May I ask Relly what brand of Duhat wine she got from the airport?

    Apr 19, 2008 | 6:02 pm

  23. Roberto B. Reed says:

    Do you take orders, or sell anything?? Please advise, ty, RBR.

    Oct 21, 2008 | 12:13 pm


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