Balsamic vinegar: a product of excellence
The term aceto balsamico (balsamic vinegar) is being used in general for a typical dressing, manufactured in the provinces of Reggio Emilia and Modena in the Emilia Romagna region.
On the contrary, it’s very important to know the difference between a non traditional balsamic vinegar and DOP balsamic vinegar.
The non traditional balsamic vinegar is obtained from the fermentation of one part of concentrated must (or partially concentrated) and one part of balsamic vinegar aged not fewer than 10 years, giving the typical flavour and taste of the product.
During the fermentation the characteristics of the two vinegars blend. It’s also possible to add caramel to give the typical dark colour.
The Balsamic Vinegar of Modena and Reggio Emilia DOP is obtained after a very old and complex processing.
The steps for its production are substantially three: the first step, after the grape pressing, consists of boiling down the must. The second step involves the natural fermentation of the cooked must (alcoholic fermentation and acetification); the third step consists of the ageing, for at least 12 years, in a series of graduated barrels made of different wood, which give unique flavours to the vinegar.
Just Trebbiano and Lambrusco grapes grown in Modena and Reggio Emilia provinces shall be used. An average of 200 kg of grapes are necessary to obtain 100 kg of cooked must which, at the end of the whole decanting and ageing processing result in a few litres of finished product.
Its sophisticated and unique aroma with its shiny colour makes the balsamic vinegar very appreciated and versatile in cooking, as it can be used for elaborate recipes as well as for poor and easy ones.
The balsamic vinegar can be tasted alone as an aperitif or it can be poured onto Parmigiano Reggiano flakes, risotto or as a salad dressing. It’s a perfect seasoning for meat, also carpaccio, aged cheeses, au gratin or sautéed vegetables, but it can be surprising with strawberries and ice cream.