- Modena, Italy
This is some serious balsamic.
As they will tell you at La Vecchia Dispensa, creating a young, versatile balsamic, with the right balance of acidity and sweetness is an art, and the art is in the blending – without using any wine vinegar of course. The right amounts of old balsamics with their sweet flavor profiles and young, feisty balsamics with lots of acidity.
That is exactly what they've done here. Their "Spalla" is known as 12-Year here in the USA to give you a feel for the age of some of the balsamics used for the blend. It has a more complex palate than their 10-Year, and it isn't as dry on the finish. It has more caramel notes as well as a fruity, crisp finish.
This is a very versatile balsamic; it will work just as well on salads as it will for drizzling and dipping, and it is delicious on strawberries and ice cream.
In gourmet cuisine balsamic vinegar can be used in the most widely varying ways; there are no specific dosages, but rules have built up over more than a century of use. Experience has shown that authentic balsamic should always be the last ingredient added to any dish, except of course when it is used to season salads.
Since it ages constantly, the characteristics of balsamic vinegar in the various ageing phases vary. After a certain number of years it becomes denser, loses fluidity and becomes much richer. At this point it should be treated with devotion
, and can even be sipped at the end of a meals as an excellent aid to digestion.
Modena Balsamic Vinegar is a matured obtained from the boiled must of choice grapes grown in the Province of Modena, with the addition of colonies of vinegar bacteria known as "mothers". In the ageing process, the vinegar is transferred between a succession of barrels of different sizes and different types of wood, traditionally used in the zone, combined in specific sets. Balsamic vinegar is dark brown in color, has a piercing aroma with an attractive acid note, and becomes denser as the years pass. Its characteristics vary through the different stages of the ageing process.
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