The Prize Of Modena, Italy: Balsamic Vinegar

Province of Modena - Road To An Italian Farmer Household

Province of Modena – Road To An Italian Farmer Household

If you have ever seen or used authentic balsamic vinegar from Modena, Italy, you know that it is much different from what passes for the same product in the United States. That’s not to say that all products labeled as such are not authentic, but for true results in Italian recipes that call for this ingredient, it must be processed according to the traditional methods. Modena has been making balsamic vinegar for some 900 years now, so they certainly know what they’re doing!

Modena’s Process

First off, balsamic isn’t even a vinegar. The latter is made by fermenting wine or apple cider. Authentic balsamic vinegar made in Modena begins with pressing Trebbiano di Castelvetro grapes into one-half or one-third of their original volume. The resulting liquid, called must, goes into barrels rinsed with boiling vinegar where it remains for a year. At the end of that time, the liquid, now the consistency of syrup, is placed into wooden kegs. This process occurs on an annual basis, with the balsamic reducing and thickening every year. From juniper to ash to chestnut, the type of wood used for the barrels gives the balsamic vinegar a specific taste and character.

Aging To Perfection

Balsamic vinegar must age for at least 12 years and a maximum of 35 years. The liquid is checked by an acetaio, which then he or she decides if it is ready to move on to the next step. When it is deemed ready for consumption, the liquid is checked by Consortium of the Producers of Traditional Balsamic Vinegar of Modena. It is then designated DOC or Denominazione di orgine controllata, numbered and given a seal of guarantee that shows the product to be traditional and “true” balsamic vinegar. The result is an amazing liquid that’s highly fragrant with a sweet unique flavor.

American Balsamic

Most balsamic vinegar found in American grocery stores has not gone through this traditional process. As balsamic has gained in popularity, producers have cut corners, with many aging it for only a few years and cutting it with red wine vinegar. Some very cheaply made brands simply mix it with undesirable ingredients such as sugar, grape concentrate and artificial flavorings.

Although some manufacturers may try to mimic the manufacturing process, food purists say that this truly authentic balsamic vinegar is solely made with white Trebbiano di Castelvetro grapes in Modena. Many gourmet food stores stock traditional balsamic vinegar. There are also some websites that carry a wide variety of aged balsamics from many of the top producers in Italy. If you are ever lucky enough to have a bottle of this aceto balsamico di Modena, know that a little goes a long way! It’s perfect to use on steak, salads, with different varieties of veggies, on chunks of Parmesan cheese, and even one of my very favorites…vanilla ice cream! What Is Your Favorite Way To Use Balsamic Vinegar?

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Free Guide To Aid In Becoming A Wine Connoisseur

200371252-001Wine lovers everywhere pay attention! The following article offer many tips and hints about wine. The more you know about wine, the easier it will be to enjoy it. So keep reading to find out all you can.

Never cook with a wine that you do not enjoy the flavor of. When wine cooks down during the cooking process, it concentrates. Any flavors that you do not like will be more prevalent, which means you will not like the taste of the food you have worked so hard to prepare.

If you are having oysters or seafood, stick to white wine. White wine is lighter and has a higher acidity level, so it is best to have this when you are eating lighter foods. Seafood is a perfect combination with white wine, and will help to maximize the sensation that you get.

A great tip if you’re interested in buying wine is not to get too carried away with buying a lot of wine that you currently like. Tastes change all the time, and you might regret packing your wine cellar with a bunch of wine that you happen to like right now.

Leftover wine should not be saved for any more than four days. When wine comes in contact with oxygen, it starts to break down. This greatly effects the taste and balance. It is best to use any wine you have leftover for cooking instead of drinking it as it is.

You can make a great sauce for beef dishes with wine. All you need to do is pull out a red wine you love and pop some into a saucepan with a little butter. Let the sauce simmer in order for it to get thick and cook off the alcohol. When finished, pour it lightly over whatever beef dish you are fixing.

If you are new to the world of wine, consider attending a wine festival. Festivals are a wonderful way to meet other people with an interest in wines and try several varieties without breaking the bank. You can also get some great ideas about pairing wines with foods. The fun and festive atmosphere also provides for a great date night out.

Wine is produced all over the world, from France, California, South Africa and even in Canada. With this terrific guidance, you should be prepared to begin your wine journey. Raise a glass and get started!