Modena’s Balsamic Vinegar [Video]

Traditional balsamic vinegar, as expensive as it is tasty, is also known for its curative properties. Learn just why it’s so expensive and so good!

The Modena province in Emilia Romagna, where we lived many years is known as the Home of Balsamic Vinegar. And because it’s one of the places we most love returning to, it’s where we spent our Easter holiday this year. Full of tradition, great food, fine autos, and friendly people, it’s a great place to visit! 

Traditional balsamic vinegar, as expensive as it is tasty, is also known for its curative properties: abundant in potassium and calcium, and with antioxidant properties. And is also thought to lower blood pressure, stabilize cholesterol levels, and keep blood glucose levels steady.

But did you know that there are actually 3 categories of Balsamic Vinegar?
  1. Balsamic Vinegar of Modena — which must be produced within the Modena or Reggio Emilia provinces.
  2. Traditional Balsamic Vinegar of Reggio Emilia — which can only be made within the city limits of Reggio Emilia.
  3. And Traditional Balsamic Vinegar of Modena — which can only be produced within the Modena city limits. This finest of the balsamic vinegars is quite expensive, and a real culinary delight!

All of these have been granted European Protected Geographical Indication (PGI). Which regulates not only where they are made, but also the type of grapes and ingredients used, along with production processes. Any other kinds are not real balsamic vinegars!!

When we lived there, two of Mario’s coworkers gifted us tiny bottles of 50-year old traditional balsamic vinegar, started by their fathers! We greatly prized them considering that a 3.4 oz (100 ml) bottle sells for around €500!

But why should a tiny bottle of vinegar cost so much?

Because the Traditional Balsamic Vinegars (whether made in Modena or Reggio Emilia) take years to make.

Only the white Trebbiano grape goes into this extra fine balsamic. Which must then undergo fermentation for at least 12 years. Or a minimum of 25 years for any labeled extra aged! This fermentation process takes place in barrels of successively smaller size, and of different wood. It always sells in 100 ml (3.4 oz) specially shaped bottles.

But even the plain Balsamic Vinegar of Modena (not bearing the Traditional label), can take several years!

Any grapes traditionally grown in these areas goes into this more economical vinegar. And the vinegar must undergo a minimum of 60 days fermentation. Balsamic Vinegar of Modena aged over 3 years can carry the label aged.

To appreciate how delightful this vinegar is you have to try it! But first watch the following informative video that takes you through the process, from start to finish in just a little over 2 minutes! A promotional video put out by the balsamic producers, but interesting none the less!

And then, enjoy your salad!

[Video via oriGIn/YouTube.]

Source: What is Balsamic Vinegar?
Images: Balsamic vinegar via; Modena ©]

Author: Sheila

American born, Italian at heart. Wife, mom, nonna to 9, missionary in Italy since 1989 with

9 thoughts on “Modena’s Balsamic Vinegar [Video]”

  1. So interesting! Thankful for people who plan ahead and are willing to invest the time to provide nutritious foods for the rest of us! This week I tasted a cheese made with balsamic vinegar… delicious!!


    1. Yum Linda – those are 2 great combinations! I love cheese and balsamic vinegar. Plus the really good balsamics are lovely on cheese, especially Parmigiano!! It is amazing how long it takes to make the real balsamic vinegar – a work of patience!

      Liked by 1 person

    1. Mine too Lynn! I’ll have to do a post some time about the vinegar my father-in-law started and is still going strong!! Vinegar is actually a very amazing food!


    1. I find that a lot of people don’t Cynthia, and neither did we until we lived up there. The extra fine vinegar is so good that it makes a delicious topping even for strawberries or ice cream. I know because we tasted some once that had been aged 100 years! It was at a street fair and they were offering free samples on little pieces of Parmigiano cheese. It was heavenly!! 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

      1. I guess the grass just usually seems greener on the other side Familiarity seems to make us not appreciate what we already have! But there is so much to love about every place on God’s green earth!

        Liked by 1 person

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