January 11, 2011

Traditional Balsamic Vinegar: Part II

Now that you have a grasp on the age old method for how the Traditional Balsamic Vinegar is made, let's go back a few hundred years into its history.

Sadly, there is no official documentation when or where exactly Balsamic originated, but similar products, used in various ways throughout history have been mentioned in literature from ancient Greece and imperial Rome. However, some early documents for the still-flourishing condiment can be traced back to Modena 1598.

Centuries later, traditional balsamic became a condiment for kings. King Victor Emanuel II was lucky enough to find the 'black jewel', a cask found in Duke Francesco IV of Ferrara's palace. The king demanded that the best casks being produced in the region be moved to the royal castle in Piedmont. Thus, began the royal balsamic batteries. Who knew balsamic could be a hobby for kings?

A few years later, in 1860, author Francesco Aggazzotti took the time to write the practice to create traditional Balsamic vinegar. This became the basis for the production in Modena that remains today. Good thing someone decided it would be a good idea to pass on an actual recipe.

Today, the production of the Traditional product can be found to Province of Modena in the region Emilia-Romagna in northern Italy. The province is home to more than great balsamic. The birthplace of Enzo Ferrari, several other noted automotive lines, balsamic and countless other gems make Emiglia-Romagna a must-visit in Italy.

JM

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