Naturally Artisanal

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Vino Cotto is great on grilled pork chops! Montillo Italian Foods

Posted by smfierro on April 28, 2010

Who would have thought a response to Deena Montillo’s discussion in LinkedIn would have led me to try her Vino Cotto!  Vino Cotto as it’s been called throughout history in various parts of Italy, or “cooked wine,” is a sweet, cooked grape syrup.  The name “cooked wine” is a bit misleading because authentic Vino Cotto has no alcoholic content. For over 100 years in Calabria, Italy and since 1970 in Massachusetts, the Montillo family has been making this syrup for their own use.  In 2008 Montillo Italian Foods began making it for you and I to enjoy.

This past weekend I had a few friends over and we marinated thick pork chops with sea salt, fresh ground pepper and Vino Cotto.  To make a long story short, we really enjoyed how the product caramelized on the chops and produced a combination of sweet, savory and smoky flavors that really were delicious with our grilled vegetables which we drizzled with the syrup.

As for consistency, Vino Cotto isn’t thick like honey or maple syrup but thinner, more like a simple sugar syrup.  Don’t let that fool you though.  It’s highly versatile in its application with both savory and sweet ingredients in a variety of dishes.  It can be used on meat, seafood, vegetables, in sauces, drizzled over cooked meat or desserts, or even as an ingredient used in baked goods.  And, you know that sweet taste you get in condiment-grade balsamic vinegar?  Guess what?  It is vino cotto, often written on the back label as “cooked must” or “mosto cotto.”  Using Vino Cotto di Montillo, now you can create your own balsamic vinegar and salad dressing, too!  The list goes on… I found that this unique product even has a slightly smoky scent to it, even though

Vino Cotto, 8.5 fl. oz. bottle, Montillo Italian Foods

I have never seen it described that way.  In addition, Vino Cotto can be a healthier sweet ingredient choice.  Its nutrition label shows that it is low in calories and is cholesterol free, has no fat or salt, is a natural antioxidant, has no artificial colors or flavors, and contains no vinegar or alcohol.

I realize a lot of the information on the product is around sauces and sautéeing.  For those of us who also love to grill and the fact that it is that time of year again, I strongly recommend you try the sauce as a marinade for the grill.  It worked well on our chops, and I would imagine it would be great on salmon, steaks, shrimp and grilled veggies.

Check out Montillo Italian Foods at www.montilloitalianfoods.com where you can learn more about this delicious product and even get some for yourself to try.

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