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Rideout Bistro Oils, Big Sur Gourmet

Is there sugar added to your 25 Star Balsamic?

NO! The sweetness of our balsamic is due to the high amount of concentrated grape must in our product. The more grape must, the thicker and sweeter it becomes.


How does your 25 Star Balsamic compare to the “Up to 18 Year Old Balsamic” that is found in many olive oil stores?

First of all, if the product was truly that aged, the price would prohibit the average person from being able to afford it, and would sell for about $25/ounce. Secondly, according to PGI rules, it could only be called “aged” if it is really a certified product. Condimento balsamic cannot be classified as PGI nor can it be claimed as aged under PGI rules. We do not claim an age on our product as we follow the law and guidelines set in place by the consortium. However, we feel that our product stands for itself. We invite you to compare the products side by side and decide for yourself which product is superior.


What type of barrels is the 25 Star Balsamic aged in?

Slovanian Oak.


What makes your 25 Star Balsamic so thick?

Our special quality of grape must gives the finished product a thicker consistency.  This balsamic is made exclusively for us and to our specification. The resultant product is naturally thick and sweet.


How is the 25 Star White Balsamic made and how does it differ from the dark?

The product is produced in the same manner with the same ingredients as the dark balsamic. The difference is that for the white, they choose the lightest batch of grape must that they have and then they filter the resultant product which lightens it further.


How should I store balsamic vinegar?

Balsamics’ enemies are light and heat, so cool, dark storage spaces are best. If you’re using balsamic vinegars primarily for salads and like them chilled, they can be refrigerated. If you’re using them for sauces, marinades, and reductions, store them in a cupboard. The shelf life of balsamic vinegar should be between 3-5 years.


What is the difference between infused, flavored and fused olive oils?




Infused Olive Oils

These incredible products are achieved by a long an intricate process. Fresh herbs and/or spices are added to the olive oil and steeped for four to six weeks in the oil. At regular intervals, the oil is tested to ensure that no bacteria growth or contamination has occurred. We have these done for us and we use pure olive oil (refined olive oil with around 10% of extra virgin olive oil added to it) so the flavor doesn't compete with the infusion. The resultant product is a truly fresh herb/spice flavor that will not dissipate with cooking.


Flavored Extra Virgin Olive Oils

Using a mild Extra Virgin Olive Oil as a base, we add concentrates or extracts to achieve a healthy and tantalizing flavor profile. Cibaria makes these in house.


Fused Olive Oils

We combine our Infused and Flavored olive oils to create a perfect flavor combination.

Rideout Bistro Oils, Big Sur Gourmet

Frequently Asked Questions


                                                                          How is Balsamic Vinegar of Modena produced?

Is there a difference between "extra virgin" olive oil and "virgin" olive oil?

The best olive oil is a blend of oil from a mixture of red-ripe (not green and not fully ripe) olives and a smaller proportion of oil from green olives of a different variety. Cold-pressing , a chemical-free process using only pressure, produces a higher quality of olive oil which is naturally lower in acidity.


Extra virgin olive oil :  cold-pressed result of the first pressing of the olives, with only 1% acid; considered the finest and fruitiest, and thus the most expensive; ranges from a crystalline champagne color to greenish-golden to bright green; generally, the deeper the color, the more intense the olive flavor.

Virgin olive oil :  also a first-press oil, with a slightly higher acidity level of between 1-3%.

Light olive oil :  This version contains the same amount of beneficial monounsaturated fats as regular olive oil, but due to the refining process, it is lighter in color and has essentially no flavor. This makes it a good choice for baking and other purposes where the heavy flavor might not be desirable. This process also gives it a higher smoking point, making it a prime candidate for high-heat cooking.


Can I replace butter or margarine with olive oil?

Yes! Next time a recipe calls for butter, replace it with a high quality olive oil—not only will your food taste better, but it's also a healthier way to eat. We even offer a Certified Organic Natural Butter Extra Virgin Olive Oil that gives you the flavor of butter with the health benefits of olive oil.

Use this simple chart to convert butter quantities to olive oil quantities:


1 teaspoon Butter=¾ teaspoons of EVOO
2 teaspoons Butter=1 ½ teaspoons of EVOO
1 tablespoon Butter=2 1/4 teaspoons of EVOO
2 tablespoons Butter=1 ½ tablespoons of EVOO
¼ cup Butter=3 tablespoons of EVOO
½ cup Butter=¼ cup + 2 tbsp of EVOO
1 cup Butter=3/4 cup of EVOO


How should I store olive oil?

Because of EVOO’s high monounsaturated fat content, it can be stored longer than most other oils, as long as it’s done properly. When choosing your storage location, remember that heat, air, time, and light are the enemies of olive oil. Store extra virgin olive oil in a dark, cool cupboard away from the stove and other heat-producing appliances. Refrigerated olive oils will solidify and turn cloudy. Return them to room temperature to restore their fluidity and color.

Artisan quality Balsamic Vinegar of Modena is made using ancient procedures. The process begins with careful selection of the Lambrusco and Trebbiano grapes, grown in the Modena region. They are ideal for the high sugar content required for production. These grapes are pressed and the resulting juice called "must" is heated in copper cauldrons until the volume is reduced through evaporation to about 40% of the original weight. The liquid is then decanted into wooden barrels (chestnut, oak, juniper and cherry) and left to age and transform into vinegar. As the time goes by, part of the liquid evaporates and part of the liquid is absorbed into the wood. This is the moment called "rincalzo" which happens in the period of grape harvest. The liquid is transferred into smaller barrels while the new "must" is added to "top off" the bigger barrel.


And so continues the process...

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