Posts Tagged ‘itlay’

Last spring, Sandra and Pat were in Italy, and on one adventure, they toured a company that is very serious about the art of making balsamic vinegar. They learned that a special barrel is started when a new baby is born and ages slowly for years under careful surveillance.

From the website: “Boni’s Acetaia is located, together with its almost 100 years tradition, in the first hills just outside of Modena, in Solignano di Castelvetro. Grandfather Arturo, at the beginning of XX century, started taking lovely care of wooden barrels in which he produced Traditional Balsamic Vinegar in its acetaia in Castelvetro. …

“There are many varieties of Balsamic Vinegars that differ one from the other because of the age and aromas. Boni’s Acetaia apart from Balsamic Vinegars aged in casks made with commonly used woods offers precious products aged in casks made of special local and now rare woods.”

On their next trip, Sandra says, she hopes to get to the new balsamic vinegar museum, also located in Modena.

From the museum site: “The visitor enters a section in which he can see the processing steps for the production of Balsamic vinegar, from the grape harvest … The visitor can see the tools used in the grape collection, the pressing machines and the vats, the copper pot ready for the [cooking] and the barrels under construction. In the attic reconstruction the visitor can smell the balsamic perfume of the vinegar in the barrels, among which the barrels of a very ancient set of vessels belonging to the Fabriani family, which lived here. …

“Finally comes the aging stage, during which the vinegar’s characteristics reach true perfection. These three stages take place in a series of barrels of different woods (cherry, chestnut, mulberry, oak, false acacia, ash tree and juniper) and decreasing size. Each type of wood gives to the vinegar a specific characteristic such as a certain colour, flavour or taste.

“Only after 12 or 25 years of maturing the product reaches that surprising balance of aromas and flavours that allows it to bear the title of ‘protected origin denomination’ (DOP). Walking into the following room the visitor can admire the tools used for the annual operations to carry on in the Acetaia. Here there is a 1785 bottle of Balsamic Vinegar, and its content was tasted a few years ago.” More.

I am learning there is more to vinegar than meets the eye.

Photo: Boni Balsamic Vinegar, Italy

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