Traditional Balsamic Vinegar of Modena

#BarFaithBottleTalk: Traditional Balsamic Vinegar of Modena, DOP. So this isn't booze, but with my recent visit to an "acetaia" vinegar producer in Modena with @italiandaysfoodexperience experience, I just had to share what I learned! . Balsamic vinegar is a pantry staple for many, but have you ever experienced the *real* thing? I've definitely purchased 'fancier' balsamics (?IGP?-labeled ones, barrel aged viscous ones, etc), and I was surprised to learn none of those are authentic ?DOP? balsamic vinegar of Modena. There are definitely good non-DOP balsamics, but it was incredible to experience the product that started it all and set the standard. . The tradition involves aging concentrated grape juice (thickened thru slow heating) for 12, 25, 50, up to 100 years in a set of 5-10 wooden barrels of varying sizes (often a family heirloom), each with a fist-sized cutout to expose the vinegar to air and natural microbes. The barrels are lined up from largest to smallest, and the concentrated juice passes through the barrels from largest to smallest in a "solera"-like system. Each year, only about 10% of the smallest barrel is emptied (producing only ~9 100mL bottles of vinegar!), and is refilled by the content of the next largest barrel. This process continues until the largest barrel is refilled with the freshly boiled down juice. . After min 12 years, the producer can take a sample to be judged by a panel of master sommeliers, and only upon achieving the maximum scores, can they bottle the rest. To ensure the sample matches the real product, *all* bottling happens under the governance of the association within these standardized bulb-shaped bottles. No printed age statement is allowed, and the only non-standard marking is the bottom sticker label to indicate the producer. . The bottles sell for a minimum of ~¤60 per 100ml, is deeply aromatic and wood-y in flavor and is used very sparingly in drops atop savory and sweet dishes alike. Given how long it takes to produce SO little, the industry is extremely non-lucrative in terms of profit and the tradition solely remains out of passion from the producers. ?????? . . [archived in #BarFaithSyrups] #BarFaithBalsamic #BarFaithBottleTalk: Traditional Balsamic Vinegar of Modena, DOP. So this isn't booze, but with my recent visit to an "acetaia" vinegar producer in Modena with @italiandaysfoodexperience experience, I just had to share what I learned! . Balsamic vinegar is a pantry staple for many, but have you ever experienced the *real* thing? I've definitely purchased 'fancier' balsamics (?IGP?-labeled ones, barrel aged viscous ones, etc), and I was surprised to learn none of those are authentic ?DOP? balsamic vinegar of Modena. There are definitely good non-DOP balsamics, but it was incredible to experience the product that started it all and set the standard. . The tradition involves aging concentrated grape juice (thickened thru slow heating) for 12, 25, 50, up to 100 years in a set of 5-10 wooden barrels of varying sizes (often a family heirloom), each with a fist-sized cutout to expose the vinegar to air and natural microbes. The barrels are lined up from largest to smallest, and the concentrated juice passes through the barrels from largest to smallest in a "solera"-like system. Each year, only about 10% of the smallest barrel is emptied (producing only ~9 100mL bottles of vinegar!), and is refilled by the content of the next largest barrel. This process continues until the largest barrel is refilled with the freshly boiled down juice. . After min 12 years, the producer can take a sample to be judged by a panel of master sommeliers, and only upon achieving the maximum scores, can they bottle the rest. To ensure the sample matches the real product, *all* bottling happens under the governance of the association within these standardized bulb-shaped bottles. No printed age statement is allowed, and the only non-standard marking is the bottom sticker label to indicate the producer. . The bottles sell for a minimum of ~¤60 per 100ml, is deeply aromatic and wood-y in flavor and is used very sparingly in drops atop savory and sweet dishes alike. Given how long it takes to produce SO little, the industry is extremely non-lucrative in terms of profit and the tradition solely remains out of passion from the producers. ?????? . . [archived in #BarFaithSyrups] #BarFaithBalsamic

balsamic

Traditional Balsamic Vinegar of Modena, DOP. So this isn’t booze, but with my recent visit to an “acetaia” vinegar producer in Modena with Italian Days Food Experience, I just had to share what I learned!

 

Balsamic vinegar is a pantry staple for many, but have you ever experienced the *real* thing? I’ve definitely purchased ‘fancier’ balsamics (“IGP”-labeled ones, barrel aged viscous ones, etc), and I was surprised to learn none of those are authentic “DOP” balsamic vinegar of Modena. There are definitely good non-DOP balsamics, but it was incredible to experience the product that started it all and set the standard.

 

The tradition involves aging concentrated grape juice (thickened thru slow heating) for 12, 25, 50, up to 100 years in a set of 5-10 wooden barrels of varying sizes (often a family heirloom), each with a fist-sized cutout to expose the vinegar to air and natural microbes. The barrels are lined up from largest to smallest, and the concentrated juice passes through the barrels from largest to smallest in a “solera”-like system. Each year, only about 10% of the smallest barrel is emptied (producing only ~9 100mL bottles of vinegar!), and is refilled by the content of the next largest barrel. This process continues until the largest barrel is refilled with the freshly boiled down juice.

 

After min 12 years, the producer can take a sample to be judged by a panel of master sommeliers, and only upon achieving the maximum scores, can they bottle the rest. To ensure the sample matches the real product, *all* bottling happens under the governance of the association within these standardized bulb-shaped bottles. No printed age statement is allowed, and the only non-standard marking is the bottom sticker label to indicate the producer.

 

The bottles sell for a minimum of ~€60 per 100ml, is deeply aromatic and wood-y in flavor and is used very sparingly in drops atop savory and sweet dishes alike. Given how long it takes to produce SO little, the industry is extremely non-lucrative in terms of profit and the tradition solely remains out of passion from the producers.

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