From the Estensi to our table
As lovers of good food we could not fail to talk about Balsamic Vinegar of Modena and we will do it our way: starting from the origins. The history of vinegar dates back to ancient times: the Babylonians, for example, obtained it by fermenting dates, figs, apricots and used it as a condiment or to preserve other foods.
But the roots of our Balsamic Vinegar of Tradition are to be found in the custom of cooking the must, which dates back to ancient Egypt as can be deduced from the funerary paintings. Subsequently also among the Romans the custom of producing cooked must spread. It was no longer a question of fermenting the must to obtain the wine and subsequently acetify it, but of reducing it through a long cooking process, up to 70% of its volume, obtaining the sapa (or saba) which, thanks to its high sugar concentration, was preserved. for a long time. Even today, saba is used to prepare Christmas sweets and in the past it was used by the poorest as a sweetener instead of honey.
Saba was also used to dilute wine vinegar and reduce its sourness. We can consider this blend as a precursor of balsamic vinegar in which wine vinegar and sapa were combined, with the possible addition of spices and aromas. This type of vinegars were widely used in the Este courts, first in Ferrara and later in Modena. However, it is precisely from a reduction of the must, less concentrated and less sugary than the saba that the traditional balsamic vinegar is born. The lower concentration of sugar favors its fermentation and the use of fine wood barrels give it unmistakable organoleptic characteristics and aroma
Currently the original balsamic vinegars that are recognized under the DOP and IGP brand are two: theBalsamic Vinegar of Modena PGI which is a mixture of cooked grape must and wine vinegar and for which a long aging time (maximum 2 years) andTraditional Balsamic Vinegar of Modena DOP which passes through at least 12 years of aging to be recognized as such and which in addition to 25 years obtains the title of “Extra Vecchio”.
The cultivation of grapes suitable for its production (mainly Lambrusco and Trebbiano) must take place in the territory of Modena and Reggio Emilia due to the climatic conditions and the composition of the soil. During the aging process, the master acetai taste the production and determine its quality. In fact, for vinegars less than 25 years old, the stamp can be attributed silver o aragosta depending on the score obtained during the tasting phase, while the vinegar aged for at least 25 years is given thegold.
Balsamic Vinegar is not only an excellence of our territory but it is also known and loved abroad: for example, about a third of all that is exported is destined for the United States, great admirers of this unique and inimitable product.