THE NEW KID ON THE BLOCK: SABA or COOKED GRAPE MUST
So what’s this Saba everybody is going nuts for?
At trade shows and tasting events, we offer our audience to try the whole range of vinegars: from the low density Balsamic Vinegar of Modena PGI to the Traditional Balsamic Vinegar of Modena PDO. Then, cherry on the cake, we let people try one of the two ingredients of Balsamic Vinegar of Modena (link of previous article) : the Saba. I don’t know what they expect, but I know their eyes pop out in amazement! It is the typical face of someone trying something yummy for the first time. Your body is delighted and the brain is looking for possible associations: some say Porto, some say molasses, some say prunes. Personally, it reminds me of the Isabella grape jam that dad makes every October, a very liquid and sweet jam. However, in this jam there is obviously sugar added whereas Saba is ONLY grape juice cooked for two days on direct flame until it is reduced to ¼ of its original volume. It only contains naturally occurring sugar and is refined sugar free.
The original recipe comes from the Romans. According to the ratio between the volume of juice they put to boil and the reduced syrup obtained, they had three different products. Saba is the thickest and sweetest of them.
NOT TO BE MISTAKEN FOR FRUIT MOLASSES
Molasses are a mix of a 20% / 25% of sugar and fruit juice reduced. Saba is refined sugar free. Healthier and suitable for savoury dishes as well.
NOT TO BE MISTAKEN FOR CONCENTRATED MUST
Concentrated must is obtained through refrigeration or evaporation of the must. Saba has to be produced according to the traditional method, cooked on direct fire in outdoor containers per ⅔ days..
A lot of balsamic vinegars are made with a mixture of concentrated must and cooked must due to the fact that making concentrated must is easier, quicker and cheaper.
NO REFINED SUGAR, NO COLOURS, NO THICKENERS, NO ARTIFICIAL FLAVOURS
There are some other unwanted ingredients you might find in Balsamic Vinegars: added sugar, caramel, starch and artificial substances to add flavour, change colour and increase density. Magna Mater Balsamic Vinegars of Modena PGI are made of just two ingredients: Magna Mater Saba and red wine vinegar.
IS IT A JAM?
It has a similar taste, but it is more liquid and it doesn’t contain refined sugar that is instead a necessary ingredient in a jam as a natural preservative.
It can replace jams on desserts, crumbles, yoghurt and soft cheese for a healthier and refined sugar free version.
DOES IT CONTAIN ALCOHOL?
No, Saba doesn’t contain alcohol.
DOES IT CONTAIN SULPHITES?
No sulphites are added to preserve but it contains naturally occurring sulphites.
HOW SHALL I USE SABA?
Saba is amazing on:
- Ice-cream (dairy or vegan)
- Yoghurt (dairy or vegan)
- Cheese (particularly on goat cheese and soft cheese)
- Any sort of fruit bread (banana, carrot, walnut, you name it), waffles and pancakes
- In baking
- In chocolate making
ANY QUESTIONS? FIRE OFF!! :)