One of my first Foodie tours on my culinary discovery led me to another world famous product from this area  “the black gold from Modena” – Balsamic vinegar. The process of producing sounds simple: take 100 l of grape juice, cook it for 12 hours, put it in barrels and wait 25 years – you’ll get 2 l Aceto.

Balsamic vinegar production

Aceto balsamico sagra

The most gets cooked in the open air

Of course it’s not that  simple: the grapes have to be Trebbiano and Lambrusco from your vineyard (which has to be in Modena), only the first juice is allowed to take. You should have a big house with a big attic for the barrels (also in Modena) and you need the knowledge of 340 years of experience to produce, what the Duke  of Este invented accidentally and called  “Balsamico” – they used it like a medicine for digestion, later is was given to kings and the pope as a present and it got famous in the royal families in Europe. You might be more familiar with a more commercial version of balsamic vinegar, which has a much shorter aging process. This vinegar is fantastic for using in salad dressings, marinades, sauces, and pastas, many chefs have it on their list of essential pantry items. You should be aware that this only has a far resemble with the original “Aceto Balsamico di Traditionale di Modena”, you´ll recognize it by the shape of the bottle.

foodie tour bologna, balsamic vinegar

The one and only shape of the original Balsamic vinegar bottle

Everything else, even the most fancy looking bottle, is NOT the original balsamic vinegar, but cheap industrial vinegar!