Use the best and oldest balsamic vinegar you can find; it’s almost syrupy. Otherwise, reduce the balsamic vinegar you have in a saucepan until it has the consistency of maple syrup. This is a good thing to do with regular balsamic vinegar generally. The difference in taste is amazing.

2-1/2 pints strawberries, hulled and halved lengthwise, or quartered if large
2 T aged balsamic vinegar (aceto balsamico tradizionale)
1 T sugar
1/4 t freshly ground black pepper, or to taste
whipped cream, creme fraiche or yogurt , optional

1. Toss strawberries with vinegar, sugar and pepper in a large bowl. Let stand at room temperature, tossing occasionally, for 30 minutes.

2. Toss strawberries again and serve with whipped cream, creme fraiche or yogurt, if desired.