100 ml - Condimento Balsamico - Reggio Emilia, Italy
Andrea is very proud of his Condimento, which hearkens back to the beginnings of his family's traditions. Just like the Tradizionale, it is produced solely from cooked-down grape must, carefully aged and fermented in barrels of various woods.
The nose of this medium-thick condimento
balsamic vinegar opens both sweet and tart, with notes of molasses and hints of fruit. Sweet and fruity on the tip of the tongue, a pleasant amount of acid creates an interplay of sweet and sour on the mid-palate that is a sheer pleasure. This delicious condimento leaves one with the impression that the balance of sweet and sour leans slightly to the sweet.
San Giacomo's condimento is wonderfully versatile. Andrea Bezzecchi of San Giacomo suggests it for salads, grilled meats, young cheeses, and ice cream…and we could not disagree.
About the Producer
Even though the company is young, the Acetaia of Ancient San Giacomo was old with barrels of the black gold already in excess of 50 years when it began its commercial life a few years ago. In the mid 1990s, the work of maintaining the acetaia and producing its noble liquid was taken over by Andrea, a lawyer by trade, including another barrel-by-barrel move to the attic of his own modern house. It wasn't until the late '90s that Andrea was convinced to use his precious patrimony to produce Balsamic Tradizionale.
The long years of work, a true labor of love, for Andrea was rewarded by three certifications, Red for minimum 12 years of aging, Silver for 18 years aging and Gold for 25 years of aging.
About the Condimento
Unlike with his Tradizionales, with the Condimento, Andrea is not limited by specific regulations. He has handcrafted this product based on his intimate knowledge of the flavor profile of his batteries and his desire to create a specific flavor and texture.
About Balsamic Vinegar: Tradizionale or Condimento?
True balsamic vinegar - aceto balsamico tradizionale
- is produced only in two districts of Italy: Modena and Reggio Emilia. Like wine, it bears a seal certifying its authenticity. Condimento balsamico
is the term for a balsamic vinegar that does not meet these standards - either it is produced elsewhere or it is not certified, a process which requires adheres to established rules. Condimento,
however, can be of excellent quality, made by the same basic methods as the tradizionale.
In Italy, some makers of tradizionale balsamic make condimento as well. This is the case with the Acetaia San Giacomo.