Friday, December 16, 2011

The Best Balsamic Vinegar in the World

...that's right.  I have no problem making that claim.  If you tried it, you'd agree.

December's product of the month comes straight from Italy... and ONLY from Italy.  In fact, Italy is the only country in the world to produce certified balsamic vinegar.  More specifically, Modena, Italy, is the only town in the world that concocts this deliciously exclusive product for your kitchen.

To give you a little background, a few months ago I travelled with a few friends to Modena to visit one specific acetaia (the equivalent of a winery for balsamic vinegar).  The Acetaia di Giorgio, once we arrived, was not at all what we were expecting.  It was a small house on a simple side street right outside the center of town.

Once inside, the scent of balsamic vinegar was overwhelming.  It seemed like a normal house until we got to the attic.  There were four separate rooms full of barrels.  The barrels were made out of all different types of wood, giving a unique flavor to each type of vinegar.  There was oak, cherry, juniper, mulberry, ash...

Photo of wooden barrels from my visit to the acetaia (pronounced ah-chet-eye'-ah).
Modena is the only place to find this exquisite product is because of the DOC certification process, overseen by Consortium of Producers of Traditional Balsamic Vinegar of Modena. Every step is certified, from the harvesting of the grapes, to the aging, and even to the bottling (for more info on the process, check it out here).  The grapes must come from Modena and the vinegar must be aged in Modena.  The vinegar is aged either 12 years or 25 years, after that it does not improve (unlike wine).  Even the bottling is certified; every certified producer must use the same exact bottle of 100mg (an easy way to tell if you're getting the real thing!)

The DOP certified bottle. (

We were lucky enough to get a personal tour and taste testing.  Let me tell you, it was unlike anything I've ever tasted in my life.  All we got were a few drops, yet the flavor was so rich, distinct, and powerful.  The difference between the types of wood used to hold the vinegar was very obvious in the taste.

Now to the price... Depending on the age and flavor, 100mg of balsamic vinegar (the only size you can buy) will run you anywhere from $65 to $150, not including a rather hefty shipping fee.  That said, it is well worth the money.  With "normal" balsamic vinegar, you might go through a bottle of 250-500mg in just a few weeks.  The flavor of THIS balsamic vinegar is so strong that you only need a few drops to add a kick to almost any meal, meaning that it will last a lot longer than that factory made "balsamic vinegar."

Why I recommend this product:
1. It has an AMAZING taste.
2. It can be used with almost any meal.
3. It is one-of-a-kind.

Here's the website for the Acetaia di Giorgio:

Thanks for coming to visit!
If you have ever had DOP certified balsamic vinegar, tell me about it in the comments!
If you liked this post, "like" it (there's a button right below!)
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Until next time! Live Enriched!

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