Modena - MO
Traditional Balsamic vinegar is one of Modena's most authentic products, steeped in local tradition. It can be traced back to the eleventh century and is known to have been used by the dukes of the d'Este family as a "royal gift".
For centuries the production of balsamic vinegar (using the dry vinegar loft handed down from generation to generation) was the prerogative of great houses and humble families, and was made for domestic use or, at most, as a prestigious gift.
It is distinguished by its special fragrance, by the skilful blend of tart and sweet flavours, by its syrupy density and its clear, shining, dark brown colour.
The recipe, handed down from century to century, has always been the same: balsamic vinegar is obtained from the transformation of cooked grape must that is left to age in wooden casks, needing only time and a few inspections by skilled people.
In order to obtain an excellent product, it is vital to use indigenous grapes of the province of Modena (Lambrusco, Trebbiano or Ancellotta).
Other fundamental points are a careful cooking of the must and skilful management of the various stages over the long years of ageing. Traditional Balsamic vinegar is excellent with numerous traditional dishes, and not just those of Modena, providing a delicious addition to every course, from starters to desserts.
To find out more:
To value this precious product Modena provided its own "Acetaia Comunale" as Carpi, Campogalliano, Nonantola, Castelvetro, Mirandola, Sassuolo and Vignola have done.
Another place of interest open to visitors is the Museo del Balsamico Tradizionale (Museum of Traditional Balsamic Vinegar) in Spilamberto, where tourists, students, vinegar-enthusiasts and the simply curious may savour the aroma of the precious product, learn about its history and discover the more unusual aspects of a tradition that spans countless generations.
A wonderful opportunity for the tourist who wants to discover the secrets of balsamic vinegar production is to visit one of the many farms that open their vinegar lofts on appointment.
Il you want to book a visit, please, contact one of he two consortiums:
Consorzio Tutela Aceto Balsamico Tradizionale di Modena
Viale Virgilio, 55 - Modena
Where to taste it
If you want to plan your stay in Modena and take part to one of the many initiatives related to this product, it's important to know that in September and October there are several events focusing on Traditional Balsamic Vinegar.
You can start with "Acetaie Aperte" during the last weekend of September, and then continue in October with the "Festival del Gusto" .
Turning south, you could visit "Il Palio di San Giovanni" in Spilamberto (16 km from Modena), where the must is cooked in the town square, and "Sapori in festa" in Vignola (22 km from Modena).
Not far from Modena (10 km), at Nonantola, there is the festival of "Soghi, Saba, Savor" - a cooked must exhibition.
Turning north, on the other hand, you can take part to "Il profumo del mosto cotto" in Soliera (12 Km), the "Fiera di Sant'Orsola" in Campogalliano (9 Km), and if you continue to Novi di Modena (32 km) you come to the "Festa d'Utober" (October Festival).