On the shelf
Like real balsamic vinegar (the kind that's aged for several years in oak casks), a little goes a long way with Belazu balsamic vinegar pearls. The small, dark, glistening beads look pretty and pop gently in the mouth. They're made of a minimum 60 per cent balsamic vinegar from Modena, Italy, as well as glucose, fructose, sunflower oil, thickener, agar agar and antioxidant, and the producers advise "sprinkling over smoked salmon" and "scattering over ice cream or summer fruits". The product is expensive at HK$89.90 for 55 grams, but you don't need to use that many. It's sold at Great Food Hall in Pacific Place, Admiralty (tel: 2918 9986).
I bought this jar of Felix Soto carrillada en salsa because it sounded exotic and interesting. I should have read the ingredients list though - pork cheek, extra-virgin olive oil, onion, garlic, brandy, salt and pepper - because when I tasted it, I realised it's just pork cheek confit, which I am perfectly capable of making myself. It tastes good, but at 400 grams net weight for HK$99.90, the product, made in Spain, is too expensive for what it is. It's sold at Great.