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Bitter, yes, but much more than that…

The rule is simple: the better the wine is the better the vinegar will be. Actually, in Italy the vinegar is mainly derived from the wine and its colour comes from its well-known forefather. But we cannot speak about vinegar if we don’t mention the traditional balsamic vinegar from Modena and the traditional balsamic vinegar from Reggio Emilia: they are both Dop products and they don’t come from wine but from the cooked must that is put into wooden barrels for a very long time and their aging can last for decades.

They are two undisputed treasures of the Italian food featuring specific peculiarities that are strictly linked to the raw material from which they are made. The “balsamic” vinegar is different from the others ones because of the raw material it comes from but also because of its aging and the mastery of a tradition that goes back to a very ancient time. Browned coloured, dark and bright, it is featured by a bitter-sweet taste. Don’t make confusion with the IGP Balsamic Vinegar from Modena that is the true wine’s vinegar.
And the same goes for honey: a wonderful product that is used to make the vinegar. The production of honey’s vinegar is increasing: Italy is featured by a very modern apiculture among the best in the world so this peculiarity can’t be missed. It is obtained from the “idromele”, the alcoholic fermentation of honey into water and after a few months a very perfumed product is ready, very delicate, keeping all the typical components of honey. This type of vinegar is perfectly matched to the fish, sea food or sea-salad and vegetable soups too.

Let’s move now to the so-called “fruit” vinegar, headed by the apples’ vinegar: obtained from the fermentation of cider, it has a golden colour and a more delicate taste than the wine’s vinegar thanks to the lower content of acetic acid and it can also be used instead of lemon to make the mayonnaise.
The Italian imagination is not over. The soft fruits’ vinegar is often used together with a good white sparkling wine – the same goes for the one produced from the raspberries that are picked up during the Summer months then are naturally fermented before becoming a perfumed bright red coloured vinegar.

Among the spicy wine’s vinegars there’s a wide choice, from the one made from truffles to the lemon’s one, the rosemary’s and the tarragon’s that are perfectly to delicate meat, the basil’s one to be matched to tomatoes salads while the pepper vinegar, strong and spicy that can be perfectly matched to strong tastes.

Did you know that…
The balsamic vinegar is so precious and fine that even a museum exists; it is the Balsamic Vinegar Museum in Spilamberto, in the province of  Modena: a true route along tastes in order to discover all the production steps that enable you to taste this wonderful product on your table, an elixir that sums up the history of a strip of Emilia Romagna.


Luciana Francesca Rebonato

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