Traditionally crafted Aceto Balsamico di Modena
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Traditionally crafted Aceto Balsamico di Modena
Glossy, succulent, seductive. Once known only to preeminent chefs, balsamic vinegar is now beloved by cooks and foodies, and available more or less everywhere worldwide. It’s all the rage, and rightly so. Its rich, complex, rotund flavor and silky texture make it perfect to splendidly enhance a variety of the most diverse ingredients.
While popularity is great, it also means there’s a lot of forgery out there. Loads and loads of ghastly, wan, bitter-tasting vinegars labeled as “balsamic”. Beware of the pale imitations. Authentic balsamic vinegar, aceto balsamico tradizionale di Modena, is a wonderful full-flavored example of Italy’s rich culinary heritage. It’s not “just vinegar”, it’s a superb centuries-old Italian gastronomic jewel, meticulously made following specific techniques and rules. As for the flavor, well, it tastes like velvet-in-heaven!
Like many other world-celebrated culinary delicacies (Parma ham, Parmigiano Reggiano etc..) real, genuine traditional balsamic vinegar is produced exclusively in Emilia Romagna. Specifically, ever since the 11th century and up to today, it is manufactured exclusively in the surroundings of the city of Modena, one of Italy’s greatest gastronomic centres.
Where, when and why did it all start? True to its Italian heart, this exquisite choice product has its own legend. A fascinating one, with emperors and countesses, which perfectly pairs with balsamic’s elegant flavor. As the story goes, when Henry the III, Emperor of the Holy Roman Empire, was travelling through the fertile Po valleys in 1046, he was welcomed by the Great Countess Matilde di Canossa. She presented him with a gift, a bottle of dark, shimmering “very perfect vinegar”, the Emperor remarked. This marvelous product, masterfully prepared for centuries in Modena and its countryside, was given its current name – “balsamic” – by the Dukes of Este, the city’s ruling lords, in 1747.
With the aim of preserving a time-honored legacy and the “age-long and characteristic industry of the Balsamic Vinegar in the Modena area” Italian law established a rigorous set of firm rules that production must comply with, to deserve the prestigious denomination of Aceto Balsamico Tradizionale di Modena.
To comply with such strict rules one must be committed, desirous to excel, and passionate. Hence, the best authentic traditional balsamic vinegar comes from the shady cellars and deep-rooted sentiment of small-sized local producers. “Traditional balsamic vinegar flows through our veins” they love to say…
Among them, the wonderful Acetaia Reggianini, founded in the early 1800s by the current owner’s great-grandparents, and still today lovingly managed by the family. Boasting a centuries-old tradition, this balsamic vinegar factory is characterized by a unique trait.
Reggianini makes an exclusive one-of-a-kind balsamic following a special recipe ideated by its founders, developed and fine-tuned over the years by each new generation in charge. A magnificent legacy, which embodies the essence of Modena’s traditional balsamic vinegar: not only is it the family’s ancestral bread-and-butter, it’s their life, and their vocation. Founded in 1803, Acetaia Reggianini soon became a favorite of the Italian Royal family and discerning members of the local and national noble families. Only Reggianini’s vinegar, period records report, provides a flavor rich and full-bodied enough to please truly refined palates.
Still today the Reggianini family honors its age-old tradition manufacturing superior quality balsamic, following meticulous time-honored production techniques. Starting from the exceptional grapes, premium Lambrusco Grasparossa di Castelvetro di Modena grapes organically farmed in the family vineyards. Marvellously juicy, healthy, naturally perfect grapes, which are hand-harvested and scrupulously selected before being pressed.
Reggianini’s expert personnel then places the grape must in ancient gleaming copper pots, sets these atop a wood fire, and lets the must simmer slowly. The cooked must is then allowed to rest in small barrels until the weather gets colder, an exclusive ageing process which makes its flavor more intense.
Once sufficiently aged, Reggianini’s balsamic is attentively bottled and labeled according to its maturity, and finally ready to crown our meals with its unique flavor. Alongside the traditional balsamic, Reggianini’s fascinating cellar also treasures yet another invaluable artifact, a priceless one which recounts the story of Modena’s people, and the ingenuity and creativity which allowed them to brave centuries of hardships and two world wars. Apple-based balsamic vinegar, produced by Acetaia Reggianini with the same techniques used for the traditional balsamic.
This ancient product which dates back to the Middle Ages, was created by the area’s peasants, and hand-crafted in their homes and attics for centuries every time there were no grapes available or they couldn’t afford them. Today, apple balsamic is rare and precious, and very sought after by discerning connoisseurs and famous chefs for its uniquely fragrant taste.
Synonymous with Modena’s culture, history and heritage Acetaia Reggianini’s premium traditional balsamic vinegar provides Italy, Europe and the whole world with authentic, richly distinctive, matchless Italian flavor.