Daily food & travel inspiration in your inbox

Love the flavor of balsamic vinegar, but want to be super fancy? Try these pearls that look like caviar.

Balsamic Pearls


  • 2 cups extra-virgin olive oil

  • 1 cup balsamic vinegar

  • 1/4 cup sugar

  • 1 tablespoon agar-agar


  1. Place a jar of olive oil in the freezer and allow to chill for about 45 minutes.

  2. Boil vinegar, sugar and agar-agar. Allow to simmer for a few minutes.

  3. Let cool to 55°C/130°F.

  4. Place vinegar in a dropper and drip in single droplets into chilled olive oil, creating pearls.

Balsamic Pearls




Daily food & travel inspiration in your inbox

Daily food & travel inspiration in your inbox


- What's up, guys? Jordan Andino here, and today I'm gonna show you how to make this caviar. Sike. Not caviar, these are pearls of balsamic vinegar. How'd I make it? Using science and food, otherwise known as molecular gastronomy. Let's get started. First to start, we're gonna have our oil ready to go and then of course, our three main ingredients, which we have to let boil and become friends. Balsamic, sugar, and agar agar, which is a gelatinizing agent made from algae. Whisk it around for about a minute, be careful not to burn your hand, like I"m doing right now. I'm kind of old school, so in terms of... Whoo, that's a lot of vinegar, big vinegar in my mouth. In terms of molecular gastronomy and this new wave of cooking, I'm a traditionalist so this is about as far to the molecular gastronomy, food science world that I will delve into. For the home cooks who are a little more advanced, this is the perfect way to get into that world and it's a good introduction. So now that it's boiling, we're gonna cut the heat and like I said, we're gonna let this come down to 55 degrees Celsius. As we let this cool, I shall show you my chilled olive oil. So we're gonna use this, which is just a dropper or a pipette. Pipette. So eventually, once this cools, we're gonna use the balsamic, take it, and put it right here into this semi-frozen olive oil. Now why does it have to be semi-frozen? Great question, thanks for asking. When the hot or warm liquid of the balsamic hits the actual olive oil, it needs to form that perfect drop. This is how you do it. The contrast between the hot liquid to this cold is what helps you get those perfect spheres. You wanna put it in the freezer for about 45 minutes, and that way it becomes the right viscosity, or grieness, that you need to put the balsamic into. Let's check the temp. 55, okay, it only took three hours. Now we're ready to go. It didn't actually take three hours, I'm just exaggerating. Okay, let's do it. So get the suction ready, we're just gonna go boooop. So we're going to drip it straight in. As it cools, the balls will form and then they'll actually start to sink to the bottom. When they start to sink to the bottom, you know they're ready. It's rainin' balls, hallelujah. Goodness gracious, great balls of balsamic. Now, all the lovely pearls are set into my cold liquid. So we gotta fish it out of the oil and voila. Now just pour it on and you can see how the pearls react. Look at that. They're not breaking, you can even pick up the pearls. So this is pure fact, I'm not lying. This is how you know, 'cause how often can you pick up a liquid, you can't because we got balsamic pearls. Mm, ooh. They'll open you up a little bit. There you have it, balsamic pearls. Try them at home. And we'll be a molecular gastronomist scientist thing, person. Have fun. Jordan, out.