Cooked Grape Must
The Traditional Balsamic Vinegar of Reggio Emilia is obtained simply by fermenting the sugar and acid of the cooked must. However, the secret of Reggiano Balsamic lies in its ageing process, which takes place for a minimum of 25 years for this Gold Seal bottle.
While the production of common vinegar is fermented from wine, the esteemed Reggio Emilia ABT is fermented using cooked must. The production takes place in wooden casks arranged in sets. The three phases of vinegar production are fermentation, oxidation and aging. Casks mostly made of oak, chestnut, mulberry, cherry, ash, and wormwood are used, each one contributing a particular aroma to the vinegar.
The "Oro" (gold) is exclusively consumed at the end of the meal, and is not typically used for seasoning. It is an extraordinary and complex product, rich in aromas, harmoniously combining the sophisticated traces of tartness and sweetness. It is suited to complement premium cheeses, fruit salads comprised of berries, strawberries or cherries, for pastry creams, ice creams, and cakes. To experience the full complexity of its noble and intense combination of perfumes and scents, it can be sipped from a spoon or small glass at the end of the meal like a fine wine to unleash its true essence.
If it must be used be used in cooking, avoid overheating. The vinegar must not be heated for more than a few seconds, in order to preserve the fine aromas that is so delicately brought out over the 25-year ageing process.
Historical Origins of Reggio Emilia
With the Traditional Balsamic Vinegar of Reggio Emilia (recognised in 1987 by a ministerial decree) you enter the highest gastronomic tradition where an almost alchemist wisdom has created a tradition passed from generation to generation. The monk Donizone, who lived at the same time of Countess Matilde, remembered a "laudatum acetum" in the XII century that was given as a gift by Canossa to the Emperor inside a silver bottle. The documented history of Reggio’s balsamic vinegar dates back to the Renaissance period, starting from the creation of the initially noble then bourgeoisie tradition of holding a family vinegar deposit where to age the boiled must of local grapes.