Our vinegar producer in Modena, Mariangela Montanari is the most balsamico-passionate and all around enthusiastic person that you will ever meet. She says that traditional balsamic vinegar shines when paired with dishes that are salty and fatty. “This is one of the easiest and most distinctly Italian ways to improve a dish and make it so special.” Our favorite way of enjoying Ca' dal Non is pure and simple...a few drops straight from the bottle go a long way to enhance a creamy risotto, a piece of roasted salmon, a grilled rib eye, a perfectly ripe peach, or even fresh vanilla gelato.
Mariangela's Aceto Balsamico Tradizionale is made with Trebbiano Modenese, Sauvignon Blanc, Pignoletto, Spergola, Occhio di Gatta, and Lambrusco grapes.
Need a quick refresher on the difference between plain old vinegar and Traditional Balsamic Vinegar DOP? The word Aceto, vinegar, in Italian, derives from the latin acētum, whose root means "to be pungent."
Traditional balsamic vinegar, however, is made by boiling grapes before they ferment, and can only be produced in the regions of Modena and Reggio Emilia. Local grapes are harvested at the peak of sweetness and cooked in open vats until they’ve boiled down to one-third the volume. This concentrated must is transferred to wooden barrels, made of different types of wood that impart their own complexity of flavor and aroma - oak, chestnut, mulberry, cherry and juniper. Each barrel has an opening in it to encourage evaporation; as the water evaporates the liquid becomes more and more concentrated, and is transferred to progressively smaller barrels. This process takes years - in fact in Modena they say, “one generation makes balsamico for the next.”
Mariangela sums up the uniqueness of this product when she tells us, “Tradizionale is just a simple word, but in the world of balsamico, it makes a great difference. Traditional Balsamic Vinegar of Modena is perfectly balanced in your mouth; the cooked grape must maintains a sweet and fruity note despite the acidity it gains during the long aging process. You experience sweetness and acidity at the same time; one does not overpower the other.”