Authentic balsamic vinegar is one of the most carefully controlled food products in Italy. Sadly, most consumers are unaware that there are significant differences in the production, aging and bottling the grape must or “mosto cott0” that is the only ingredient that goes into the production of “traditional” balsamic vinegar.
Gourmet Living is proud to be introducing within the next couple of weeks it’s own brand of Traditional Balsamic Vinegar of Modena or”Aceto Balsamico Tradizionale di Modena” which carries the certification of the Italian consortium of vinegar producers. This DOP labelled bottle indicates that the contents of the bottle (100 ml) consists of 100% wine must (“mosto cott0“) made from the Trebbiano grapes in Modena, Italy. This vinegar has been aged in wooden barrels for no less than 12 years.
In addition, we will be also be selling a private label brand of IGP balsamic vinegar of Modena which is aged a minimum of 4 years. The IGP vinegar contains wine vinegar to achieve a certain level of acidity as determined by the Italian consortium authorities.
Given the almost prohibitive cost of “Traditional” or “DOP” labeled vinegars, most balsamic vinegars sold commercially contain additives which mimic the taste of authentic vinegars from the region. The advantage of choosing a properly labeled and “authentic” balsamic vinegar is both the concentrated taste and the syrup. For the most part, you need to use far less authentic balsamic vinegar than those commercially varieties that are diluted with non-essential additives.
If you are looking for more information on how balsamic vinegars are classified by the Italian authorities, link to a previous post where this is discussed in far more detail.
Barrel Aged Balsamic Vinegar Recipes
One of the main advantages of having a bottle of quality balsamic vinegar in your kitchen is its remarkable versatility. I use it twice or three times a week on salads, braised vegetables, meat and even dessert. Its distinctive agro-dolce flavor adds an unusual “Italian” flavor profile to even the most mundane dish. I always advise friends and fellow chefs to buy quality food products and barrel aged balsamic vinegar is no exception. For more great recipes link here!