You likely have seen balsamic vinegar while browsing the grocery store shelves. You’ve probably cooked with it multiple times too. However, you might not have been privy to its history and why you can only find the purest balsamic vinegar in Modena, Italy. Let Italian Culinary Adventures explain the history of balsamic vinegar in today’s blog.
The Emilia Romagna Holy Trinity of Culinary
Balsamic vinegar from Modena, Italy, is the king of all vinegar. Vinegar is more than just a product to the locals as it is also part of their livelihood. It is often seen that one family member will start with a barrel of vinegar, and it will be passed down from generation to generation, as is the process of making the vinegar. This means that if the family can leverage this into a business, they will have income for generations to come.
Traditionally balsamic vinegar was made at home and was considered top of the line due to the quality. It is also seen as the ultimate gift to someone. In some cases, it was even handed down in wills and women’s dowries. To say that traditional balsamic vinegar is a staple in Italian culture is an understatement.
How to Know it’s the Real Thing
There are many attempts at recreating the traditional balsamic vinegar, but they are few and far between. If it was not made in Modena, Italy, chances are it is not a traditional balsamic vinegar. One surefire way to know if it is authentic vinegar is by checking the label. You will need to look for the word traditional being used on the label and a DOP classification. Another way to know is that there are only about 20,000 bottles of conventional balsamic vinegar produced in Modena, Italy, each year. If there are any added colors or sugar- it’s not the real deal!
Vinegar in Modena
Since traditional balsamic vinegar is primarily found in Modena, that is where you will need to travel to get it in its purest form. While visiting, Italian Culinary Adventures can act as a liaison to arrange a visit to one of the vinegar producers. You can also visit the Museo del Balsamico Tradizionale which is located just outside of Modena. There are even events held each year where you can learn more about the history of vinegar and get a chance to try it. These events happen primarily in the fall so be sure to talk with your culinary tour guide for more information.
Storing Your Balsamic Vinegar
If you can get your hands on authentic balsamic vinegar from Modena, Italy, you must ensure that it is stored properly. Traditional balsamic vinegar should be stored in a cold dark place and can be kept almost indefinitely. It should be kept away from bright light or strong flavors.
Schedule a Modena Italy Wine Tour
You might not have known how important balsamic vinegar is to Italy and especially to Modena. However, now that you do, you will be sure to add this to one of the must-sees on a Modena food and wine tour. Call Italian Culinary Adventures at 1-818-350-2806 to book the perfect culinary tour today for you and your travel party.