Nectar of the Gods…Balsamic Vinegar from Modena, Italy
Did you know that selecting the finest balsamic vinegar is very much like choosing a fine wine? The tradition of producing artisanal balsamic is alive and well at Acetaia di Giorgio in Modena.
Last year when in Tuscany, we decided to travel to Bologna and Modena, and visit the Lamborghini factory and museum. I did some research and found Acetaia di Giorgio in the heart of Modena would make a good side trip. Their balsamic was top rated in the area, and they are known for the most exceptional product.
The Barbieri family, including Giorgio, Giovanna and Carlotta continue the tradition of producing the absolute best balsamic we have ever tasted.
You can schedule a tasting, just like in wine country. This experience was like visiting the family’s country home. When we planned the tasting, we had no idea that this incredible vinegar is produced in an 1870 house. No big factory or production facility. At Acetaia di Giorgio you will find a family run and traditional producer of this gorgeous balsamic.
We spent about an hour and a half tasting the different varieties and learning the family history. We were told that a form of the “mother” batteria or barrel is included in the dowry when a daughter gets married.
We even brought back some of the 15-year-old White Cap D.O.P for our own enjoyment and another bottle for a dear friend. Carlotta gave us some great suggestions on how to maximize our enjoyment of this incredible vinegar. There are so many uses that we have tried. Carlotta mentioned that it is delicious on eggs and she was right.
D.O.P. is a quality control consortium designed to promote and protect the specific production of balsamic. There are certified bottling plants and specifications on bottle size and region of production that must be followed. No one can claim that their balsamic is Balsamic Vinegar of Modena if they are not located in Modena. Unfortunately, the consortium cannot control names and labels outside of Italy. In July 2009, the consortium was successful in having Aceto Balsamico di Modena listed as a Protected Geographic Indication (P.G.I.) by the European Union. This is not a style of vinegar; it is a specific place that this is produced.
Below is a link for a recipe that I recently discovered that the vinegar enhances. Caprese Breakfast Strata. It is a great vegetarian option and great if entertaining overnight guests. You only need a few drops to transform a regular dish into something SPECTACULAR!
Also, check out the recipe section on the Acetaia di Giorgio website. There are some great ways to enhance your meals with this special vinegar.
How about a good quality parmesan cheese drizzled with balsamic or Mediterranean scallops with a few drops of Juniper Traditional balsamic? There are several varieties and flavors available to enjoy.
Visit the website and definitely schedule a visit if you are in the area: