You’re wondering if balsamic vinegar is allowed on the Daniel Fast. The word ‘balsamic’ comes from the Latin word balsamum for balm-like, meaning ‘healing’ or ‘restorative.’ Balsamic vinegar is made from grapes, and yes, it is generally allowed on the Daniel Fast. However, some kinds are not compliant with the fast.
A Question of Sugar
Balsamic vinegar is classified into three main types:
- Traditional balsamic vinegar that has been aged for 12 or more years.
- Commercially prepared that’s less expensive but mimics traditional balsamic vinegar.
- Balsamic vinegar dressing (or condimento) that contains either traditional or commercially prepared balsamic vinegar as one of its ingredients.
Traditional balsamic vinegar is the “OG” of vinegars. It’s produced from just white grapes (e.g., Trebbiano) that have been boiled down, then fermented with a slow aging process that results in concentrated and intensified flavors. This happens because the vinegar is stored in wooden containers for at least 12 years, though some traditional balsamic vinegars will be aged for 25 years. Traditional balsamic vinegars will come from the Modena or Reggio Emilia regions of Northern Italy. This type of balsamic vinegar is derived from nothing but fruit, so it is allowed on the Daniel Fast.
Commercially prepared balsamic vinegar is a little more of a gamble, but generally a safe bet. This is where you’ll want to start reading the label. Also referred to as Balsamic Vinegar of Modena, this type of vinegar is commonly found in grocery stores and restaurants, and is less expensive. Some commercially prepared balsamic vinegars have been aged for a few months or up to about three years. If the ingredients list includes added sweeteners, take a pass. Sugar isn’t allowed on the Daniel fast.
Finally, balsamic vinegar dressings will often contain added sweeteners and oil. We don’t consume any type of sugar or oil on the Daniel fast. So here you’ll want to look at the ingredients label to ensure neither of these are included.
The Bottom Line
If you’re using traditional or commercially prepared balsamic vinegars without added sweeteners, these are allowed on the Daniel fast. However, if you’re using a balsamic vinegar dressing that contains added sweetener or oils, this would not be allowed on the Daniel Fast.