Aceto Balsamico Tradizionale di Modena PDO is balsamic vinegar obtained from the must of typical grapes from the Province of Modena. It is aged for at least 12 years and at least 25 years for the Extra Vecchio (Extra Aged) typology.
The production area of Aceto Balsamico Tradizionale di Modena PDO is within the entire territory of the Province of Modena, in the Emilia Romagna region.
Aceto Balsamico Tradizionale di Modena PDO is obtained exclusively from must originating from grapes belonging to the Lambrusco, Ancellotta, Trebbiano, Sauvignon, Sgavetta, Berzemino and Occhio di Gatta grape varieties, as well as other PDO varieties registered for the Province of Modena. After having been pressed and before cooking, the fresh musts can be decanted and refrigerated to prevent the watery parts freezing. Cooking must take place outdoors, over a direct flame at a temperature of around 80°C. The product is then left to age for 12 years: the product is put in a series of small barrels, each made from a different kind of wood, which are placed in order of volume creating what is known as the “batch”. Each year, using a particular decanting method, the contents of the smaller barrels are transferred into the larger ones.
Appearance and Flavour
Aceto Balsamico Tradizionale di Modena PDO is characterised by its dark brown colour, which is deep and lustrous, its fragrant, penetrating and persistent aroma and its pleasant and harmonious acidity. The flavour is well-balanced between sweet and sour.
The history of balsamic vinegar dates back to the times of the Duchy of Este, although even during the times of the Roman Empire it was customary to cook must for transforming it into an edible condiment. Production of this condiment developed in a restricted area between Modena and Reggio Emilia, where these so-called “special” vinegars have been produced for centuries. The “Balsamic” qualification was attributed later on, for the medicinal organoleptic properties of this type of vinegar. The writings of Count Giorgio Gallesio constitute the oldest “technical” document (1839) about this product, in which he describes the production techniques for Modena vinegar; while in 1862, the lawyer Francesco Aggazzotti presented a sample of 150 year old vinegar in Florence, describing the production method of balsamic vinegar and how only cooked musts could be used.
Aceto Balsamico Tradizionale di Modena PDO should be stored in a well-sealed glass recipient at room temperature. Thanks to its versatility, this product can be used in the preparation of numerous recipes, from the simplest to the most elaborate. It comes into its own when used with fresh and steamed vegetables, risotto, meat and fish dishes, although it is also excellent when served with flakes of Parmigiano Reggiano, ice-cream and fruit, especially strawberries. In order to maintain its unmistakeable aroma and flavour, it should only be added after the food has been cooked.
The product is marketed in the following typologies: Aceto Balsamico Tradizionale di Modena PDO (if the product is aged at least 12 years) and Aceto Balsamico Tradizionale di Modena PDO Extra Aged (if the product is aged at least 25 years). Packaging is obligatory and consists of a 100 ml bottle designed by the desiner Giorgetto Giugiaro.
Aceto Balsamico Tradizionale di Modena PDO is the result of the pedoclimatic characteristics of the production area and the variety of grapes cultivated in the Province of Modena, combined with the art of cooking the must and the annual decanting of the vinegar from barrel to barrel. Thanks to the specific microclimate, the wood used, the procedures for cooking the must, the old age of the barrels and the producers’ “know how”, each vinegar works produces traditional balsamic vinegar with particular characteristics and fragrances.