Balsamic Vinegar of Modena (Aceto Balsamico di Modena) differs from wine vinegar in the balanced composition of its constituent elements. Its physical, chemical and organoleptic characteristics are combined in a unique way; in addition, it has a higher content of extractive substances and volatile compounds. This is why there must be a careful choice of the grapes that give Balsamic Vinegar of Modena (Aceto Balsamico di Modena) its unmistakable aroma.
The practice of cooking the must of grapes can be traced back to the ancient Romans: the so-called sapum was used both as a medicinal product and in the kitchen as a sweetener and condiment.
Starting in the 11th century, the production of this very particular vinegar was linked with Modena: over time it would become synonymous of the culture and history of a territory that is unique for its pedoclimatic characteristics and its human knowledge and talent.
Towards the end of the 13th century, the art of vinegar production was cultivated at the Este Court in Modena. But it was only 1747, that the adjective balsamic made its appearance for the first time, in the registers of the cellars of the Dukes of Este: it was recorded as half balsamic and refined balsamic, distinctions which correspond to the current Balsamic Vinegar of Modena (Aceto Balsamico di Modena IGP) e Traditional Balsamic Vinegar of Modena PDO.
A few decades later – in 1800 – Balsamic Vinegar of Modena (Aceto Balsamico di Modena) began being appreciated and known abroad: it was presented in the most important exhibition events of the time, from Florence to Bruxelles. And it was again in the 19th century that the first dynasties of producers established themselves, some of whom today are among the associates of the Protection Consortium. It was in this period that the production processes were codified.
At the regulatory level, on March 25, 1933 the Minister of Agriculture Giacomo Acerbo acknowledged for the first time, with an official act, the “age-long and characteristic industry of the Balsamic Vinegar in the Modena area”. Thirty years later, in 1965, specifications were published in the Gazzetta Ufficiale (Official Gazette) relating to the “Composition characteristics and preparation modalities of the Balsamic Vinegar of Modena”. In 1994, the producers took steps to improve the production specifications and to protect the correct use of the Balsamic Vinegar of Modena (Aceto Balsamico di Modena) designation in trade and consumption.
Another milestone in the history of this exclusive and distinctive product, which has become world ambassador for fine Italian eating, was European recognition: in 2009, after a long procedure, the European Commission inserted the Balsamic Vinegar of Modena (Aceto Balsamico di Modena) designation in the register of PGI productions.
The Balsamic Vinegar of Modena (Aceto Balsamico di Modena) production area, according to tradition and in compliance with current regulations, corresponds to the provinces of Modena and Reggio Emilia. In this area there is an abundance of grapes with just the right concentration of sugars and acidity.
Precisely because it is strictly linked to the knowledge, traditions and skills of local populations, the unique Balsamic Vinegar of Modena (Aceto Balsamico di Modena) is considered a symbol of the culture and history of Modena. This is decreed by the Official Journal of the European Union .
As symbol of the gastronomic quality of the territory of the two Emilia Romagna provinces, Balsamic Vinegar of Modena (Aceto Balsamico di Modena) is an integral part of the local culinary tradition. As well as being a versatile and intriguing ingredient of countless regional recipes, it is also the main feature of festivals and events dedicated to it.
Balsamic Vinegar of Modena (Aceto Balsamico di Modena) is produced from grape must that is fermented and/or cooked and/or concentrated. The grapes comes only from Lambrusco, Sangiovese, Trebbiano, Albana, Ancellotta, Fortana and Montuni vines. To the grape must are added wine vinegar, in the minimum amount of 10%, and an amount of at least 10-year-old aged vinegar. The minimum percentage of grape must is 20% of the total quantity of the product to be sent to processing. The concentration is carried on until the initial mass of must reaches a density no lower than 1.240 at a temperature of 20°C.
The processing of Balsamic Vinegar of Modena (Aceto Balsamico di Modena) takes place with the traditional method of acetification through the use of selected bacterial colonies or with the lenta in superficie (slow surface). Next comes the maturation phase: acetification and maturation both take place in barrels, vats or casks made from precious woods, such as sessile oak, chestnut, oak, mulberry and juniper. At the end of the maturation period, analytic and organoleptic tests are carried out on the resulting product by a group of expert technicians and tasters: these tests must be successful for the product be certified as Balsamic Vinegar of Modena.
The packaging must bear the words Aceto Balsamico di Modena, together with the Protected Geographical Indication. If the product was aged for more than three years, the packaging also bears the word “Aged”.
The Balsamic Vinegar of Modena (Aceto Balsamico di Modena) production specifications require that the assembly of raw materials, processing, maturation and/or ageing in containers from precious wood must take place in the provinces of Modena and Reggio Emilia.
Except for special occasions when Compagnia Del Montale ’s Balsamic Vinegar of Modena IGP is a delicious gift, every day is a good day for Balsamic! Outstanding for enriching all sorts of foods: meat or fish, appetizers or fruits, vegetables or desserts. When you drizzle Compagnia Del Montale’s Balsamic Vinegar of Modena IGP, there is no room for errors! It is a wonderful seasoning for all culinary cultures because it is the most natural vinegar and its refinement stands in its simplicity. It is the best travel mate for discovering different gastronomies. Like traditional foods of the land from which it originates, try it on Japanese sushi and sashimi, Chinese dumplings, Thai culinary pleasures or Moroccan couscous. Compagnia Del Montale’s Balsamic Vinegar of Modena IGP is synonym of style, seduction, elegance, refinement even for your kitchen thanks to its exceptional and unique flavor, expression of creativity, excitement, happiness.
For a proper storage, keep Balsamic Vinegar of Modena PGI in a glass bottle and carefully close it after each use. In addition to this, keep it away from substances that release extremely strong smell.
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