- Modena, Italy
La Vecchia Dispensa's "Aceto Balsamico Tradizionale di Modena Extra-Vecchio
" balsamic vinegar is obtained from a traditional and painstaking process of slow fermentation resulting in acidification into vinegar. Extra-Vecchio
means "very old."
La Vecchia Dispensa's Extra Vecchio has a rich, complex bouquet and pours like molasses. The Modenese prefer the fuller, more complex and sweeter flavors developed in more mature balsamicos like this one. Dark brown, with a thick almost syrupy consistency, La Vecchia Dispensa Extra Vecchio is worthy of the reference da bere
, "for drinking," the highest compliment for a tradizionale.
How It's Made
The must of Modena trebbiano grapes, with nothing added, is cooked over direct heat, and then left to age in a series of differently sized casks of choice woods (oak, mulberry, juniper and chestnut), until the vinegar develops the flavor characteristics of traditional balsamico - a process taking at least 25 years. A special consortium tasting panel determines that the balsamic is ready based on blind taste tests. When the vinegar achieves the proper score, it is given the gold seal and labeled "extra-vecchio" (very old).
Experience over the centuries has shown that balsamic vinegar should always be the last ingredient added to any dish, except when used to dress salads. Balsamics aged 20 years or more become denser, their fragrance and flavor are enriched, and may be appreciated to the full on flakes of Parmesan cheese, on strawberries or on ice cream, or even sipped at the end of a meal.
About the Producer
Learn more about the producer, La Vecchia Dispensa
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.
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