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Modena tradizionale

A consortium from the governing body of balsamic vinegar must judge and approve the vinegar before it can be labeled as aceto balsamico tradizionale. This consortium deems whether the vinegar can be sold, and if so, it must be placed into a consortium-approved bottle. This process ensures that there are no get-rich-quick players in the market, so when purchasing a bottle, you are assured authenticity and quality. The price and brilliant flavor of this balsamic vinegar mean that only a few drops are needed at a time.

Balsamic Must is a slight step down in quality, and is less expensive as the process of aging the balsamic vinegar for decades is not undertaken. Most are made from young (four- to five-year-old) balsamic vinegar which has had a little old traditional balsamic vinegar added to it. This is then bottled, and sold at a large reduction when compared to the tradizionale. Quality and flavor vary in this type of balsamic vinegar, as different blends are created from different aged vinegars. The Balsamic Must made by the Academia Barilla is created from aged grape must from Trebbiano and Sangiovese grapes. The must is aged for eight years in small oak, cherry, and chestnut barrels. This produces a rich, tasty flavor, though it is nowhere near as intense as the tradizionale.

Balsamic Vinegar of Modena is the third type of balsamic vinegar offered by the Academia. This version is aged for three years in oak and cherry casks. Sweet and tangy, this can be used to as a base for marinades and vinaigrettes. The Academia adds no sugar in the process of making this balsamic vinegar, unlike some other producers.

Another type of “balsamic vinegar” does exist, though it is not in the same league as the previous three. Made from red wine vinegar (real balsamic vinegar begins as a clear liquid as it is produced from white grapes), caramel coloring and sugar is added to create this type. Its low price is a reflection of the fact that this version  is not aged for any length of time. For quality and taste purposes, it is better to spend the extra dollar or two and buy balsamic vinegar from an established  house. To ensure the highest quality balsamic vinegar, only purchase those that come from Modena. Even established houses create balsamic vinegars that have distinctly different flavors, so continue to try different brands until you find one that you like.

[tag] modena tradizionale[/tag] 

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