The Traditional Balsamic Vinegar of Modena

Secrets and Passion on producing The Traditional Balsamic Vinegar of Modena

Modena finally comes out with its traditional balsamic vinegar, kept secret for years and years. The entire world uses the balsamic dressing, which is just a remake of the original traditional one.  It is in fact time to know the truth. The traditional balsamic vinegar is achieved through a long procedure from grape must, which is aged for several years in a series of wooden barrels.  Most of the people in this world don’t have an idea of its work prosidures and confuses this product with the commercial one called Balsamic Vinegar. The name itself is little bit confusing indeed. This industrial product is the cheaper one for the public, made of grape must blended with wine vinegar, sugar syrup and all the necessary to reach the requested color and taste. Its retail cost is around € 0.30 per liter. Meanwhile the traditional one has only grape must and traces its roots to the XI century, since that moment, due to its higher price it has been destined for domestic use or for special gift. Nowadays it is also used in higher class restaurants. Because of its long processing it costs about € 500.00 per liter. In fact the  minimum aging period can last from 12 to 15 years. Above 25 it becomes precious. Time is the most important ingredient. The grape must is cooked slowly at 60° C in an open vessel until it is reduced to one third of its original volume. It is then placed in wooden barrels, where it passes years acidifying until it reaches the wanted balance. Each year the wooden barrel is to be changed and as each of them is made of different types of wood, the vinegar absorbs the complex flavors of the casks. The aging process can be stopped at the year of 15 or 25. As it goes on aging it evaporates and gets thicker and darker therefore more concentrated.
After passing a strict test, it is bottled and sealed.  The judgers express their evaluation through scores, necessary to classify the Traditional Balsamic Vinegar of Modena. The product can be sold as Traditional Balsamic Vinegar for the ones aged 15 and Traditional Balsamic Vinegar extra-vecchio for the ones aged 25. If it doesn’t pass the test it can’t be bottled therefore sold. So imagine after all those years of working if your product is refused by the judges! Its production is strictly overseen from the beginning to the end until it goes through the certification agency. Nowadays all these hidden "acetaias" can be visited, many of them are free of charge. We visited the “Acetaia Rossetti” in Bastiglia, (MO). They have some big barrels on the ground floor meanwhile, the smaller ones are located on the rooftop. Mr. Marcello Rossetti explained us all the working procedures.The tour lasted 30 minutes and ended up with the vinegar tasting. It was really worth visiting. Probably I will never have money to buy a liter of it but at least I’m happy I have seen how proudly the Modenese are preserving this old tradition. It is a matter of passion and secrets which is handed down (necessarily) from one generation to the next. All of my pictures here are coming from Acetaia Rossetti.  If you are close to Modena, don’t miss out the experience to learn the truth about the most wanted dressing in the world.






















18 comments:

  1. Although balsamic vinegar is not very popular in India, it is still known by a lot now. And it was really very interesting to know how exactly it is produced. What I can derive from it is that the process does involve a lot of patience and practice to achieve the best results

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  2. This is so interesting, and so cool that you got to see exactly how it's made!

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  3. I love balsamic vinegar! We always had a bottle at home when I was growing up! Such an interesting post! what a cool experience!

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  4. Yum, I am obsessed with this on my salads! I had no idea the amount of work and time it took to produce, very interesting!

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  5. I love balsamic vinegar and it is an important ingredient in my kitchen. Loved the in-depth blog about how it is produced and the pictures here.

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  6. This is interesting since I use balsamic vinegar for all my salad dressings and it tastes awesome.

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  7. Balsamic Vinegar is one of the item you always find in my kitchen but today i came to know that it goes through so many process before coming into market

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  8. I am a microbiologist and this is something I love to read about and personally do too. Very well explained lovely pics

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  9. What an indepth coverage on the whole process of producing the Traditional Balsamic Vinegar! I am glad they are preserving the old tradition and passing on the values and secret to the next generation.

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  10. The thought alone of balsamic vinaigrette makes me hungry! I love baking chicken in it and cooking rice to go with it.

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  11. I've always wondered about how balsamkc vinegar is aged. It's awesome that you're sharing this, I learned so much from reading the post. I use balsamic vinegar often as I love the flavor that it brings.

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  12. Oh that's a great experience. Knowing how Balsamic Vinegar produce is awesome, this place is really worth visiting!

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  13. What a great experience to seeing how Balsamic Vinegar producing. I think I need to try this one. I will definitely check this in the market.

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  14. Awesome experience to see how the Balsamic Vinegar producing. Such an interesting idea to produce and place!

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  15. Being a chemistry student I am always keen to know about everything of any chemical product manufacturing process.. Thank you for sharing the whole industrial preparation of Balsamic Vinegar.. :)

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  16. i real love this product i eat a lot whit some olive oil and bread i enjoy your post :)

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  17. Oooo.... Balsamic Vinegar is my favourite dressing for salads as it's so appetizing and healthy! I didn't know how it's made until readin your article!

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  18. I love vinegar! It has so many health benefits it's pretty much should be a staple in every household!

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